This is the disturbing moment a police officer chases a wombat, throwing rocks at its head as he laughs with a friend. The terrified creature is seen scurrying away as Waylon Johncock’s friend says: ‘You’ve got him, you’ve got him, hit him, hit him, kill him.’ As the driver speeds up to keep the headlights shining on the animal, the shirtless attacker follows on foot and delivers a fatal strike. The Wombat Awareness Organisation shared the sickening footage last night and has launched a petition calling for Australia’s hunting laws to be reformed. On their Facebook page, the animal welfare group said: ‘Heartbroken… this is tragic.
‘I am tired of reporting such cruelty for it to be ignored… This has to stop!’ The footage taken in Eyre Peninsula is now being investigated by the South Australian Police Force, who Johncock has served for 10 years. The Senior Community Constable has been working with non-Indigenous officers to help them get to grips with social and cultural issues in the community. He has a basic grasp of the Pitjantjatjara language and says a central part of his job is working as a translator between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal people. Johncock briefly played in the South Australian National Football League for Glenelg and was a renowned player for regional divisions.
South Australia Police told Daily Mail Australia they were aware of a video ‘depicting an incident involving a man inflicting injuries upon a wombat’. A spokesperson said the force is ‘taking the situation very seriously’ and are ‘closely examining’ the video in a bid to formally identify the man. The clip shows the men following the wombat in car before the off-duty officer gets out and starts chasing it. The driver tells him to ‘get up close’ before he starts pelting rocks at the defenceless animal’s head. In an online petition signed by more than 60,000 people, the Wombat Awareness Organisation said the killing was allowed under the Native Title Act and accepted as traditional hunting.
But they point out that this contradicted parts of the Animal Welfare Act and called for all indigenous animals to be protected by law. Supporters of the petition said the clip was an ‘insult to traditional hunters’ and said the officer has ‘no honour or respect’. Responding to people’s attempts to justify the death, the group posted: ‘Today I was plagued with pics of the wombat dismembered as a form of justification. ‘It is apparent we have very different ideas about traditional hunting. ‘The distaste and intent to hurt others is very apparent, but not by all.’