Elderly Activist Faces Charges for Disrupting Kangaroo Cull

Christiaan Klootwijk’s alleged whistling and shouting could disrupt an Australian kangaroo cull, a move applauded by animal-rights activists.


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A 70-year-old Australian man is facing court after allegedly disrupting a government-ordered kangaroo cull by frightening the animals off to safety. Activist Christiaan Klootwijk appeared before a Canberra, Australia, judge this week and plead not guilty to two charges of obstructing a public official after being charged last year when he was apprehended for repeatedly whistling and shouting at a nearby nature reserve. He was greeted at the courthouse by supporters from Animal Liberation and the Coalition of Animal Protectors, groups that have long advocated for a stop to the Australian Capital Territory, which has claimed the lives of at least 11,000 eastern grey kangaroos since 2009. Klootwijk’s fate may not prove to be so grim—Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said charges against the activist may change due to her ruling that the contractor hired for the cull was not a public official. The development follows a similar incident in Canada, where activist Anita Kranjc could face up to 10 years in jail for providing water to 30 pigs en route to a slaughterhouse on a sweltering summer day.

Photo courtesy of Adam Foster