Recently posted YouTube video (below) captures an L.A. Department of Water and Power worker tossing a cat more than a story to the ground after the feline was rescued from a power pole recently.
The imagery is disturbing for some animal lovers, and it has prompted questions about why the city employee didn't just lower the "cherry picker" bucket he was in to a safer elevation before letting the cat go free.
The worker is heard saying that the feline was "clawing" him.
According to reports, it happened in Sundland on Friday.
KTLA News says the cat had been stuck for three days before its rescue. Neighbors had called the L.A. Fire Department and the DWP, the latter of which responded to get the cat down with a cherry picker, according to the station.
A witness told KTLA that, at first, the DWP worker "was real gentle with the cat" as it was coaxed into his raised bucket.
But suddenly the city employee is heard saying, "Get out of the way" repeatedly before tossing the feline.
You can hear shocked reactions as the camera pans to a woman with a blanket below who was apparently ready to receive or even catch the cat.
Someone off-camera says the worker "could have got a little lower."
A man off-camera says, "Can't believe that. Can you believe that?"
A woman says, "Well the Department of Water and Power guy, it ruined his gloves, so he decided to dump the cat."
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The worker says, "Sorry ... he was really clawing me."
The DWP issued a statement about the incident:
The crew member was trying to help rescue a stranded cat. The cat was scratching him and in concern for his safety he dropped the cat which appeared to be unharmed.