animal abuse

Viral Video Of a Man Eating a Live Cat Sparks Outrage In Indonesia

An Indonesian man shocked netizens when he was filmed eating a cat in a Jakarta market, but there's more to the strange story.
live cat
Man in the video (left), screenshot via Instagram. Cat (right), via Shutterstock.

Indonesian netizens are freaking out about a man who was caught on video devouring a live cat in Kemayoran, North Jakarta. The Instagram account @christian_joshuapale first uploaded the controversial video on July 28, which quickly went viral, garnering over 179,000 views by August 2.

“Does anyone know the man in this video? He ate a cat alive today at the Kemayoran market, North Jakarta. Please help identify the perpetrator so he can be dealt with by authorities,” the video’s caption reads.

Advertisement

On August 1, after almost a week of police trying to locate the elusive perpetrator, his own family turned him in to the police.

In the video, the man devours the flesh off a half-eaten cat. He appears to be on an angry rampage as he chows down, but it’s unclear why.

Police were quick to identify the cat-eater, but it took a while to actually find him. The man was Abah Grandong, a 69-year-old preman, or someone who dabbles in black magic. A relative of Grandong told local media that as a result, Grandong exhibits bouts of irrational behaviour and “often gets possessed at home.”

Grandong has since apologized for his actions. “Regarding the video that was unsettling to many Indonesians, I apologize. What I did in the video is part of a Banten tradition known as debus (extreme displays of strength).”

Police believe Grandong killed the cat with his bare hands and ate it out of frustration towards one of the market’s tenants, who refused to follow his orders to shut off their electricity. This, according to Syaiful Anwar, head of Kemayoran police.

Grandong claims he had no intention to intimidate locals. Instead, he meant for only one tenant’s security staff to see him eat a live animal. “When I began eating the cat, it was already unconscious, as I had performed a mystical ritual on it without the knowledge of the people around me,” Grandong said.

Police have charged Grandong under animal protection laws and plan to have him undergo a mental screening at the local police hospital, but it’s still unclear whether he’ll be doing any actual jail time. In Indonesia, animal abuse is often trivialized by police and when charges are laid, the consequences are often just a small fine or no more than nine months in jail.

The unsettling act attracted bitter and angry reactions across the internet. A spokesperson for the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), Femke den Haas, also denounced the display of violence. She said the man may be a threat to public safety.

“If he’s doing brutal things to animals that are not in self-defense, he could be doing that to children,” Femke told Detik.

And finally, further evidence that Grandong may have lost his marbles: he says he had no idea that the animal he ate was a cat until the video went viral. He claims he thought he was eating a rabbit. Go figure.

This article originally appeared on VICE ID.