Upsetting TikTok of Man Punching Possum in the Face for Views Draws Backlash

A disturbing video posted to TikTok in March is making the rounds online for its depiction of wild animal abuse. In the video, a man can be seen punching a possum so hard it falls off of the fence on which it was perched, leaving many viewers upset.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the culprit is a New Zealand resident of the South Island who is now under investigation.

The offending clip shows the cameraman approaching the possum, which appears to be climbing a fence, and a woman can be heard saying, "Hey d***, what are you doing there? Smack him!" A young man then appears from off-screen and delivers a hard punch, knocking the poor possum to the ground.

A clear thump can be heard on the video along with laughter from the culprits. The video has been viewed more than 79K views on TikTok and, surprisingly, includes encouraging comments along with the expected outrage.

"Hey guys, great vid. Just wondering if you could remake this video with the sound effect: Obada Wee," one follower commented.

Another said, "Waiting for all the animal activists to jump on this, fully slept him tho," to which the creator of the video replied, "they have been trying to."

He further justified his act by insisting: "It's an Australian possum, an invasive pest, they drop poison all over the country to kill."

I know they are classified as a pest, but I don't know how you can gain any sort of enjoyment at harming, or watching some harm, an animal in this way. It's disgusting.

— Takoda Ackerley (@AckerleyTakoda) April 14, 2021

Deirdre Sims, the spokesperson at Direct Animal Action, told the New Zealand Herald that the video is deplorable and an act of animal cruelty.

"While possums are considered 'pests' in New Zealand, what is shown in this TikTok video is blatant animal cruelty and this is not acceptable behavior," said Sims

"The fact that it is being glorified on social media makes it even more despicable. We have reported this video to the New Zealand SPCA who've advised us that they have an investigation underway."

"People need to know that animal abuse should not be used as a tool to get more views, likes and shares on social media," says Sims.

Back in America, an Alabama woman recently ran into trouble with the law when she committed a different kind of animal-related crime—stealing her neighbor's goat and painting it blue. Though she didn't punch the stolen animal, she was still charged with animal cruelty alone with second-degree theft.

A possum that survived the bushfire is pictured in Fennell Court, Stoneville Perth, Australia. gETTY/Paul Kane