Mistreating and abusing animals is almost universally decried behavior. This is especially true when it comes to abusing animals that are frequently encountered by humans. Of course, abusing one’s own pets is unforgivable and illegal, but abusing wild animals that are largely harmless to humans is also never a good way of making friends. Considering this, it is hard to believe that a garbage collector recently posted a video to Facebook that showed him sending two opossums to an early grave in a shockingly inhumane manner. A Louisville Metro Government garbage collection employee is now being disciplined in response to the public outcry concerning the employee’s Facebook video. The video showed the employee joking about the imminent deaths of two opossums that had become trapped in the back of a garbage truck.
Last Friday a garbage collection employee living in Louisville, Kentucky posted a video that he had recorded while at work. The video showed the employee emptying a garbage can containing two opossums into a garbage truck. The video footage picked up the employee’s jokes concerning the animal’s anticipated demise. At one point the employee said “watch out he’s going to splatter blood all on your face.” Of course, this disturbing comment was made in reference to the opossums being crushed within the garbage truck’s hydraulic press.
The Facebook video had garnered over 1,800 views before the employee removed it from the website. Harold Adams, spokesman for the Louisville Metro Public Works, issued an apology to all those who had seen the video, and he claimed that the employee was being disciplined for the incident. Several people who watched the video left comments on Facebook. One user wrote that the employee should have turned the opossums loose while another claimed that opossums are tame creatures. The employee defended his actions by saying that his job is dangerous and that opossums and other wild animals usually arrive to landfills entirely unharmed. While the waste management company condemned the actions of their employee, they did state that garbage collection workers are prohibited from handling wild animals in order to avoid contracting disease or injury. The company went on to state that wild animals typically escape from garbage trucks alive.
Do you think that the garbage collection employee should have dealt with the opossums in a more humane manner?