Christchurch property developer Bevan Hames, 37, threw a quokka into an Australian river to prove to his mates that they can swim.
The animal managed to swim to shore and appeared unharmed.
Hames later appeared in court for throwing the quokka into the harbour at Rottnest Island on Friday night, pleading guilty to animal cruelty. He was granted a spent conviction and fined $2,000.
A 38-year-old Queensland man who helped Hames catch the quokka, before it was allegedly thrown into the water, was fined A$200 by police and expelled from Rottnest Island.
Hames’ lawyer Nick Terry told the court his client had no idea he was doing anything wrong, and wanted to show his friends at the pub that quokkas were surprisingly good swimmers.
The animal cruelty charge carries a maximum fine of A$50,000 or five years in jail.