A Brisbane student has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges today after allegedly hurling an echidna off a two-storey bridge.
Zhenbo Gao was allegedly hunting for lizards when he came across the cute but spiky boy in May 2018. The international student from China was enrolled in a business degree at Griffith University when the ordeal took place.
Mr Gao admitted to previously tormenting lizards, koalas and possums before the echidna met his untimely death.
According to the statement of facts, Gao dropped the innocent creature, then he proceeded to hurl football-sized rocks at him until he came out of hiding again.
Even after the echidna’s horrific death, Mr Gao continued to examine and photograph the animal until he was caught by campus security guards who later called the RSPCA.
An autopsy report revealed the full extent of Mr Echidna’s wounds, which included haemorrhaging, broken quills and bruising.
“The findings of the autopsy indicate that the echidna died from blunt force trauma and would have endured significant pain and suffering, as well as fear and terror, in the process,” the statement of facts said.
He told the RSPCA that he’s never seen an echidna and naturally was curious to see how the animal would “handle it” if he chucked one two storeys off a bridge.
Mr Gao claims that he never intended to kill the animal. However, I’m fairly certain you’ll kill anything if you throw it off a bridge. Please don’t throw anything off a bridge.
According to his defence attorney, the now 24-year-old is “deeply remorseful” and ashamed of his actions.
Mr Gao was sentenced to an 18 month probation and ordered to perform 180 hours of community service.Image: Shutterstock / Les Scholz