Justin Bieber angers animal rights campaigners with hamster gift
Following the 18-year-old's performance at Jingle Ball in Atlanta, Georgia, last week, he handed a thrilled young fan a cage holding his beloved pet, Pac.
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TMZ obtained a video of a shirtless Justin passing Pac through a fence, before telling the girl: "You gotta take care of Pac."
The fan - who's been identified as Victoria Blair - assured Justin: "I will take care of him."
Justin adopted the hamster in October, regularly posting photos of his furry friend to Instagram and promising to bring him to every meet and greet.
The singer's director friend Alfredo Flores has defended the decision to give away little Pac, insisting the pet needed "a break".
But officials at the California Hamster Association think Justin's actions were cruel and irresponsible.
A spokesperson for the group told TMZ.com: "(Hamsters) often succumb quickly to illness and death (when faced with) sudden environmental change.
"The moment that hamster was handed off to a screaming girl in a harsh, frenzied environment was likely the moment it gazed at the short path to its doom."
But since receiving the pet, Victoria has been a dedicated carer, regularly posting photographs to Twitter.
She insisted she didn't do anything special to obtain her new pet.
Victoria tweeted: "I waited outside after the concert and he just gave it to me!!!"
Since obtaining Pac, Victoria has gained more than 10,000 followers on Twitter but has received some negative messages from jealous fans.
She wrote: "And I have some haters now but it's okay I'm a strong girl and Justin chose me for a reason!"