More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for a Russian train conductor to lose his job after he threw a pet cat off a train, thinking it was a stray. Is.
The white and ginger tom cat, known as Twix, escaped from his carrier on January 11 on a train traveling between Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg. It was found by the conductor, who stopped the train and forced the animal out of the carriage. In the city of Kirov, east of Moscow.
Hundreds of people gathered in sub-zero temperatures to search for the animal, which was later found dead on January 20 half a mile from the train tracks where it had been released. Volunteers reported that Twix had died from severe cold and had suffered multiple suspected animal bites.
The incident has sparked widespread outrage in Russia, with thousands of social media accounts following the story. Others re-shared the viral footage of the cat being dropped in the snow in temperatures close to -22 Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius).
A separate petition calling for criminal charges against the conductor had garnered more than 100,000 signatures on Sunday, after it was published online on January 19.
Local authorities have so far declined to prosecute the conductor, who has not been publicly named.
In a statement, Russian state train operator RZhD said it was “sincerely sorry” for Twix’s death, and vowed to change its rules on how employees should treat unaccompanied animals.
“We sincerely regret the death of Twix the cat and apologize to his owners,” the company said in a statement on social media.
“To ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future, amendments are already being made to the documents used for transporting pets on long-distance trains. Conductors are required to remove animals from carriages. Offloading will be prohibited: Instead, animals will be handed over to station workers who can contact animal welfare groups.