The owners of a Utah hamburger are defending themselves in a surprise kangaroo court after being criticized for selling kangaroo meat burgers amid the devastating wildfires that ravaged Australia.
On January 2, Burger Bar, in the city of Roy, revealed that his first "exotic meat of the month" for 2020 would be the kangaroo, served in the form of a hamburger.
Some social media commentators soon began to criticize the restaurant for offering the marsupial meat, as fires are currently sweeping Australia and, reportedly, more than one billion animals have died in the flames.
CONSERVATOR GROUP BURGER SLAMS KING OVER COMMERCIAL USING THE & # 39; WORD D & # 39;
"Oh. Bad taste, "a Facebook user responded to the Burger Bar post.
"How tacky considering all the devastation that is happening in Australia's wildlife, land and people right now. The media is flooded with horrible images of Australia's furious fires, burned and fleeing animals." , echoed another.
"Horrible! Put the meat in the freezer and choose a different meat this month," said one.
Meanwhile, a restaurant representative described the kangaroo offer as an "unfortunate coincidence" and said that exotic meat was ordered well in advance of the fires.
"Unfortunately, with the recent wildfires in Australia, we understand that this publication may seem insensitive," they commented below the original publication. “We can assure you that this was not planned in any way and is an unfortunate coincidence. To provide a variety of exotic meats each month, we must plan at least one year in advance. Unfortunately, our kangaroo burger was scheduled and this parody happened, but we don't want to let this meat go to waste. "
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Duplicating the claims, Burger Bar manager Joe Fowler said kangaroo meat arrived at the restaurant at the end of December after it was ordered many months earlier, and that the decision to sell it was taken seriously.
"We thought about not doing it, but basically we would have to waste all the meat that had already been sent and it would be wasted here, which for me would be much sadder," Fowler told KUTV.
"I shouldn't offend people. Actually, they're just hamburgers. We're not making a statement or anything like that."
Despite the violent reaction, the locals apparently had enough appetite for the exotic offer. On Sunday, Burger Bar announced that it had already sold its supply of kangaroo meat, after serving some 400 kangaroo burgers in two days.
“We are very grateful to all of you who have shown us kindness and understanding this week. Thank you for taking the time to meet behind us and defend ourselves. We are really moved, "the hamburger owners said in a statement shared on a Facebook fan page.
"Oh, and a & # 39; thanks & # 39; very special to the people and organizations that thrive and / or benefit from raising controversy and outrage," they continued. "As a result of his" successful piece "(and the most wonderful clients in the world), we had our two busiest days in January!"
A restaurant spokesman was not immediately available to offer further comments.
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Burger Bar is touted as an "old-fashioned drive-in with a unique menu," and has served more than 20 exotic meats during its more than 60 years in the business in the Roy community, said manager Fowler.
"Camel burgers, llama, crocodile, I'm trying to think what else would be interesting. You know, quail, duck, rabbit, all kinds of things," he told Fox 13.
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According to a recent estimate from the University of Sydney, more than one billion animals may have already died due to the Australian wildfire season.
In an attempt to save the billions of hungry animals caught in Australia's wildfires, the New South Wales government threw more than 4,800 pounds of vegetables on Sunday, using helicopters and airplanes to access the area.
The fires, which have devastated Australia for months, have spread rapidly and overwhelmed efforts to contain them. Two massive forest fires in southeastern Australia were recently merged into a giant mega fire that measures nearly 1.5 million acres, NPR reported.
In total, more than 130 forest fires have claimed the lives of 26 people and destroyed at least 3,000 homes, according to published reports.
Yael Hanlon and Christopher Carbone of Fox News contributed to this report.