Mike Epps defends bringing kangaroo on stage after backlash

Comedian Mike Epps brought a kangaroo on stage with him at a performance in Detroit on Saturday

Mike Epps is at the center of controversy after bringing a kangaroo onstage with him during a recent show (video below). PETA also says it wants the U.S. Department Of Agriculture to "conduct an immediate investigation" in this event, and it hopes the backlash reminds comedians that "there's nothing amusing about cruelty to animals".

Comedian Mike Epps has apologized for bringing a kangaroo onstage at one of his shows - a kick in the shins to Twitter users who have been slamming it as animal abuse. Unaffected by the act, the handler, Javon Stacks, continued to steer the animal around on the stage to entertain the crowd.

Actor Mike Epps speaks on stage during "Uncle Buck" event during aTVfest 2016 presented by SCAD on February 7, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

After the show Epps posted a video of himself in a friendlier moment backstage, feeding a banana to what appeared to be a different kangaroo.

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Stacks told TMZ.com the kangaroo was not harmed, and the leash he used is legal and preferable to a collar. A deleted caption, as quoted by TMZ, said: "Yeh look how nice I am 2 him!"

After the incident went viral on social media over the weekend, some accused Epps of animal cruelty. Theses guys are license zoo keepers!

Stacks told 7 Action News his animals are state and federally licensed, and they often give presentations to children for entertainment and educational purposes.

TMZ has reached out to a rep for Epps for comment, but has yet to hear back.

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