This year for Christmas, country music star Luke Bryan gave his wife, Caroline Boyer, the gift of two baby kangaroos — and sparked major backlash on Instagram.
“Young kangaroos are highly anxious animals and often don’t last long in the hands of people aren’t trained animal carers,” wrote one follower. Added another: “This is so wrong. Can u not see that they are wild animals and deserve to be in their own environment? Please do the right thing for them. They are not pets.”
A third person scolded Bryan for possibly ripping the kangaroos away from their mother too early. “If you do a tiny bit of research, you’d see that these guys stay suckling on their moms up until they are 18 months. These guys look about 1/2 that age bc clearly the breeder was willing to exploit them for the almighty dollar.”
PETA is calling for an investigation into where the kangaroos came from. “These joeys have complex needs, including specialized diets and room to roam,” the organization’s Vice President Colleen O’Brien told Us Weekly in a statement on Friday. “They are not toys and will only become more difficult to care for as they grow older.”
According to Australia’s National Kangaroo Protection Coalition, red and gray kangaroos are bred for pets in the United States and Canada. “Reports we receive indicate that the death toll is very high amongst these animals, as they quite often they are restrained in small yards,” its website states. “Few oversees veterinarians know anything about them, and macropods do succumb very easily to stress-related diseases.”
While Bryan and Boyer have not yet responded to the criticism, many fans were quick to point out that the musician said that the kangaroos would live in a barn dedicated to his niece, Sadie Brett, who died at 7 months old in February after battling heart issues and an undisclosed infection that affected her liver. It should also be noted that the couple live on an 150-acre farm in Tennessee.
The Bryans named the barn’s newest additions Margo and Todd after the Griswolds’ yuppie neighbors in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Their nicknames are 2 Live Roo and Roo Tang Clean.
“2 Live Roo and Roo Tang Clan are living their best life,” Boyer joked on Instagram on December 26. “They are adjusting perfectly are beyond sweet and precious.”
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