Instagram star cat Ponzu killed after owner ‘attacked’ in New York park
A cat with more than 30 million Instagram followers was killed in an alleged attack on its owner and Instagram chef, Chanan Aksornnan.
Ms Askornnan, known as ‘Chef Bao Bao’, was walking Ponzu and four other pets with her boyfriend in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park on 4 April.
A boy tripped on Ponzu’s leash, and then pulled on it, according to an account of the incident by Facebook user ChaRee Pim.
The cat was dragged along by the leash and “up … into the air”, pulling its claws out by force — and bleeding, Ms Pim wrote in Thai.
An argument then followed, with Ms Askornnan confronting the boy’s family, asking: “What did you just do?”
A woman, believed to be the boy’s mother, responded by saying: ”This is what you got when you walk your f****** cat, b****”.
Ms Askornnan and her boyfriend, in addition to two other pets, were then assaulted by the family. Video of the incident appears to confirm the assault.
“The family not only did not offer any apology nor remorse,” she told online news outlet Greenpointers on Monday. “They immediately began a verbal abuse which escalated into a physical assault. I got punched and kicked by three women”.
Ms Askornnan’s boyfriend, who remains anonymous, suffered a broken nose that required surgery, according to the Instagram chef.
In an Instagram post on 7 April, she wrote that the cat died of “shock and injuries” following the incident. It allegedly suffered from a heart condition.
She continued: “We are traumatised, lost for words, heartbroken. Our family got physically assaulted that day and there is a pending police investigation to find and charge the perpetrators who showed no empathy for animals nor humans.”
A number of Ponzu and Chef Bao Bao fans took to Twitter to call for arrests in the incident — and the latest in a series of assaults against Asian-Americans.
“Ponzu was diagnosed with a heart disease and made friends with Mango the parrot,” wrote Ines Helene. “Together with their brother Tofu, they were adopted by an Asian family. Ponzo and his family were attacked in park in what appeared to be a anti-Asian hate crime. Ponzo died.”
The New York Police Department has been approached for comment by the Independent.
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