The man, believed to be aged in his 40s, was at the Parkerville Tavern when he allegedly grabbed the kookaburra – known as Kevin – and pulled the bird’s head off then threw it under the table.

Kevin was known for cheekily stealing food from pub patrons.

An RSPCA spokeswoman told AAP the organisation had not given up possibly pursuing the man but said the Act was unclear.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has vowed to examine legal avenues surrounding native wildlife protection – depending on the exact species – saying the man’s actions were “pretty disgusting” and everyone was “rightly appalled”.

“We are now checking with the department whether or not this can be characterised as an act of animal cruelty,” she told reporters on Monday.

Ms MacTiernan said if the case had exposed a legal loophole, it could lead to changes to the Animal Welfare Act, which was currently under review.

“Quite clearly we need a law that would stop that appalling behaviour happening,” she said.

In a social media post that has since been deleted, the pub said they were “in disbelief about the barbaric attack on one of nature’s gifts”.

Kevin the kookaburra was well-known at the Parkerville Tavern in Parkerville, 33km west of Perth for hopping onto guests’ plates and helping them to finish their meal.

One witness told PerthNow the patron simply threw the kookaburra on the ground after killing it.

‘Kevin had flown down onto this bloke’s plate and the bloke grabbed him,’ the other pubgoer said.

RIP, Kevin.