The U.S. Department of Agriculture is looking into video of a kangaroo that was allegedly mishandled during a Mike Epps comedy show in Detroit.
On March 31, Mike was performing at the Festival of Laughs comedy tour. While he was on stage, a man came out with a kangaroo on a leash. Mike persuaded the handler to make the kangaroo a part of the show, and video shows Mike and the handler both roughly yanking on the animal's leash. The handler also lifted up the kangaroo several times and one of the times it started throwing punches.
The animal appeared to try to run off stage several times.
TMZ reported on April 3 that the feds are now reviewing video of the incident. Mike has since apologized.
A rep says for the Department of Agriculture told the website that due to the Animal Welfare Act, handlers are required to be "in control of the animal at all times."
Many fans felt that what was done was animal abuse, and they took to the Internet to voice their concerns.
"They're trash for doing this," one person said.
After the show, Mike posted a backstage video of himself with a different kangaroo.
"Yeh look how nice Iam 2 him! Theses guys are license zoo keepers ! #iloveanimals." He later deleted the post.
The obvious question arises: What is a kangaroo doing in Detroit anyway?
Last week, Javon Stacks, the kangaroo's handler, told MLive.com that the animal is part of a traveling exotic zoo, and said he has the proper licenses for the kangaroo.
On April 2, Mike, while facing backlash posted a mea culpa on Instagram.https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZ-U9Wh2Sc
"Look I wanna sincerely apologize to everybody ,I don't own the kangaroo and did not mean any harm to the animal it got outta hand and I am sorry !and like I said I will be donating money to this foundation save the kangaroos!," he wrote. "Sorry if I [offended] anybody I love animals sense I was a kid I had dogs my whole life !!#imadeabadmistake I keep taking down my post because of the back lash I am getting!! thank you for forgiveness !!"
A rep for city Animal Control told TMZ that it would be up to state and federal authorities to decide if a crime had occurred since the animal is from out of town.
Javon, the handler, told TMZ that the kangaroo wasn't harmed.