A bloke from Perth has just been fined $4,000 for stealing a meerkitten named Salama from the local zoo… which he then took to McDonald’s.
According to Yahoo 7, the 23-year-old stole the baby meerkat from Perth zoo because he “fell in love” with it and thought it would be a cool pet.
He apparently stole Salama by jumping the enclosure fence and smuggling it out of the zoo in a cooler bag – drowning out the animal’s distressed cries with loud music – which is heartbreaking to think about.
Before returning to his home he took the meerkitten to a McDonald’s in South Perth. It’s unclear what he got there. Nuggs? We hope it was nuggs.
Despite public outcry for the safe return of Salama, he wasn’t found until two days after the theft when police tracked down the man. While keepers were fearful that the meerkitten might be rejected by its clan, he has been safely returned and reintegrated with no issues.
The man has received a suspended jail sentence for his crime, as well as a $4,000 fine. Two other people have also been charged for their involvement with the theft. The man has also written to Perth Zoo to apologise and offer to do community service for them. Unsurprisingly, the zoo knocked him back.
In regards to the crime, the man’s defence attorney stated, “If you go to the zoo, you’ll realise how cute they are, and you’ll see the attraction.”
Let this incident be a lesson to anyone who wants to steal a “cool pet” for themselves – don’t.