A POLICE officer’s son who filmed himself laughing as he mowed down a flock of emus in his ute has broken his silence in a series of interviews, admitting he found the outback slaughter “funny at the time”.
Jacob Macdonald, 20, was arrested and charged by Victoria Police on Friday after horrific footage of the incident went viral on social media.
The sickening vision shows Macdonald behind the wheel of his white 4WD hurtling down a dirt road at almost 120km/h, chasing after a flock of emus.
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The P-plate driver can be heard laughing and cheering in the video as he ploughs full speed into the terrified birds, counting as he mowed them down one-by-one.
In an exclusive interview with 7 News due to air tonight, Macdonald says it was the “biggest stuff up” of his life, despite admitting that he found it funny.
A 40-second clip promoting the interview posted on Twitter shows Macdonald smiling and at one point even chuckling as he answered a reporter’s questions.
“It was the biggest stuff up of my life … I’m not proud of it,” the 20-year-old tells the Channel Seven journalist before appearing to chuckle. See the video below.
“It’s not funny any more – it was at the time. It was a mistake – a silly idea. I thought they [the emus] would get out of the way but nah, they just stayed there, so.”
You can watch the full interview on Channel Seven tonight at 6pm.
In a separate interview with the Daily Mail, Macdonald insisted he wasn’t intending to be cruel to the native birds.
The keen hunter and farmhand said he thought he was “doing a good deed” because of the “destruction” the emus were causing to drought-stricken farms.
“We’ve been in drought – I could show you some photos of the destruction the emus make down here,” he said.
“It’s unreal the amount of damage they can cause … they’re a pest and they’re out of control … they need to be put down.”
You can read more of Macdonald’s interview with the Daily Mail, here.
Police have since revealed the incident occurred on Pellaring Road in the tiny Victorian town of Cowangie sometime between 1-20 September.
Macdonald has since deleted his social media accounts and is due to appear in court in November, charged with tormenting and killing protected wildlife, as well speeding and using his mobile phone while driving.
The 20-year-old’s identity was first revealed in the media on Friday after his ex-girlfriend recognised him in the footage and came forward.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the woman said Macdonald flew “off the rails” after she ended their relationship in July.
“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 the publication.
“I ended the relationship 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 … he deserves everything he gets.”
The woman revealed Macdonald’s mother was a Victorian police officer, and his father a farmer in the New South Wales Riverina region.
“His parents would be outraged by his actions,” she said. “They’re genuinely good people.”
“Biggest stuff-up of my life – I’m not proud of it” – Speaking exclusively to 7 News, 20-year-old Jacob McDonald speaks of his regret after being accused of filming himself running down a mob of emus in a video that went viral. Hear from him in 7 News at 6pm. #7News pic.twitter.com/0sCOdQnQpa
— 7 News Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) September 22, 2018