Jacob Macdonald, 20, (pictured) filmed himself deliberately mowing down emus while speeding down an Outback road
Country folk have rallied behind the young man who filmed himself deliberately mowing down emus, saying they’re a ‘pest and nuisance’.
Jacob Macdonald, 20, from Pinnaroo, a tiny country town in South Australia near the border with Victoria, was identified as the man behind the wheel by an anonymous ex-girlfriend.
A man with mutual friends with Mr Macdonald told Daily Mail Australia: ‘The media will make Jacob seem like a bad person who should be locked up for years but no one will listen to what he has to say or his reasoning.’
Mr Macdonald, who works and lives on a farm, may have been attempting to rid his property or his place of employment of the ‘out of control emus’, the friend said.
‘We control kangaroos on our farm because they’re a pest,’ he said, ‘to see a mob this size I think anyone could answer that question and say yes they are a pest there [in Pinnaroo].’
When the video was streamed on social media platforms, some users jumped to Mr Macdonald’s defence, with another woman saying ‘they would have probably died anyway as there’s no food no water.’
‘Country folk shouldn’t share stuff that people from the city can get there hands on,’ another wrote.
‘Being off a farm, it annoys me because people in the city don’t realise how these animals can destroy fences and crops,’ Mr Macdonald’s supporter said.
‘I don’t understand how something like this can get 5 years in jail while a pedophile can get 3 years behind bars and apply for parole.’
Mr Macdonald (pictured) is a keen hunter who works on his friend’s farm. He deleted his social media accounts after footage showed him hitting at least ten emus with a four-wheel-drive
The support comes after Mr Macdonald urged his ex-girlfriend to keep his identity a secret as rumours circulated in their small town.
The young woman, who spoke to Daily Mail Australia but wishes to remain anonymous, spoke of being bombarded on her own social media accounts by people in her local area who recognised her ex from the viral footage.
When confronted with the truth, Mr Macdonald pleaded with her, saying ‘please don’t say anything’.
A friend of his also asked the woman to ‘keep quiet’, but promised he hadn’t known of the brazen attack until the video went viral.
Mr Macdonald has since deleted his social media accounts after the video began circulating online.
Daily Mail Australia exclusively revealed Mr Macdonald was the man in the video, seen laughing while running over the helpless birds and cruelly counting out the growing death toll.
When confronted with the truth, Mr Macdonald pleaded with her, saying ‘please don’t say anything.’
The 20-year-old is a keen hunter who is employed on a friend’s farm to do tractor and welding work, but went ‘off the rails’ after his latest relationship breakdown, according to his ex-girlfriend.
‘He’s the type to go hunting, he grew up that way but this is just atrocious. I was shocked and speechless… angry mostly,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
She claimed his mother was a police officer near the border of New South Wales and Victoria, while his father was a farmer in the NSW Riverina region.
‘His parents would be outraged by his actions,’ she said. ‘They’re genuinely good people.’
She described Mr Macdonald as caring and protective when they were together, but claimed their break-up in July had sent him down a destructive path.
‘I ended the relationship (at the) end of July and he kind of went off the rails a bit after that – well, obviously a lot now that we have seen this.
‘Honestly, he deserves everything he gets,’ she added.
The RSPCA said it was ‘shocked and horrified’ by the confronting footage, urging members of the public to come forward with any information.
An RSPCA spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia staff were examining the footage to try and determine when and where it was filmed.
‘Such sickening cruelty clearly has no place in our society,’ she said.
‘The RSPCA unequivocally condemns this type of violence, as it clearly shows a disregard for the lives of these vulnerable native animals, and raises grave concerns over this individual’s capacity for such behaviour.’
The maximum penalty for someone found guilty of killing native wildlife in New South Wales is $22,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.
She said in the wake of allegations against individuals, people need to be careful of vigilante attacks and social media persecution.
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty told AAP ‘We had a number of leads and we are looking into those.’
‘At the moment the South Australian one looks the most promising but obviously we can’t identify that person yet.’
Mr Beatty said it was important the RSPCA acted.
‘People must understand that with premeditated animal cruelty like this, the links between that and other forms of violence down the track are well proven,’ he said.
A mob of emus were filmed being run down by Mr Macdonald, who was wearing a sunglasses and a cap in the footage
The sickening footage was posted to Facebook by a man named Fabio Galletti, who pleaded with his followers to out the driver. A number of men were wrongly tagged in the post
The video was originally posted to Facebook by Fabio Galletti, who shared the clip and asked his followers to help him identify the emu killer.
Mr Macdonald – who was wearing sunglasses and a cap in the video – can be seen running over at least ten emus.
He can be seen panning the camera to his dashboard, appearing to show speeds of over 120km/h while maniacally laughing as the emus disappear under his bonnet.
‘One, two, three!’ he laughs as the birds are mowed down on the dusty road.
Social media users expressed their disgust at the disturbing video, calling for the man to be ‘raped’ and ‘killed’
Melbourne man Harrison Hatzis, 19, was wrongly identified as Mr Macdonald, partly due to a photo on his Facebook of him next to an emu
Earlier, Melbourne man Harrison Hatzis, 19, was wrongly identified as the man seen in the vision, partly due to a photo on his Facebook of him standing next to an emu.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Hatzis said he was desperate to clear his name after social media users threatened to rape and kill his family.
‘You can guarantee it’s not me,’ Mr Hatzis said after receiving a torrent of abuse online when a stranger tagged him in the post.
‘Hope you see this post and you come and get me you oxygen thieving scum,’ one Facebook user wrote online.
Other social media users directly messaged Mr Hatzis on Facebook, threatening to rape and kill his family.
Mr Hatzis commented on Mr Galletti’s post, saying: ‘All these c***s messaging me thinking this was me yous are dumb c***s how do I even look like this c*** in the video.’
The stomach-churning footage has been viewed almost half a million times since being uploaded on Wednesday afternoon.
At least ten emus are run over in the video, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times