Circus kangaroo's boxing bout scrapped
By Daniel Piotrowski
February 05, 2013 12:32PM
US kangaroo boxing bout dumped
Local police: 'There will be no match'
Hope future performances will be abandoned
A CIRCUS boxing match between a kangaroo and a human has been scrapped after global outcry.
Police in the US town of Oxford, Mississippi, told local newspaper The Clarion Ledger that a plan to stage a boxing match between Rocky the kangaroo and a human at a circus had been halted.
Oxford Police Department chief Joey East said the marsupial would not be donning boxing gloves when the Star Family Circus show was held in town on February 13.
"We have spoken with the owners and the managers (of the circus)," Mr East said. "There will be no kangaroo and boxing match of any kind."
Animal rights activists in the US and Australia were outraged after it was reported the circus was planning to once again force a captive marsupial into the ring.
The activists started an online petition to stop the bout on the website Change.org. The petition referred to YouTube footage of Rocky, in boxing gloves and shorts, being forced to box a clown at a previous circus.
"The kangaroo is repeatedly punched in the face by a human," the petition said. "This is blatant animal cruelty, cruelty is NOT entertainment, and we will not allow it in our community."
"Boxing matches are extremely stressful for kangaroos... They must be harassed and bullied into defending themselves (in) boxing matches."
Two other kangaroos that were forced to box for circus entertainment died of complications while on tour, the petition stated.
Mr East said police officers will be on hand next week to enforce any violations of Mississippi’s animal cruelty laws.
RSPCA spokesman Lukas Picton said it was pleased that "humane sense has prevailed" and that the boxing match had been cancelled.
"We would hope that any of Rocky’s subsequent performances are met with the same opposition and ultimately abandoned."
Petitions have been organised to stop the kangaroo boxing show from going ahead at circus events in other US states.