Justin Bieber has angered a group called the California Hamster Association because he gave away a pet hamster to a fan, who has since become very popular on Twitter, where he maintains a following of some 31.8 million people.
Last week, TMZ posted what appears to be a cell phone video of what the outlet says is the 18-year-old pop star handing over a cage containing the animal to a girl in a crowd of youngsters who are screaming with excitement at an unidentified location in Atlanta, where the Canadian singer had performed.
He tells her, "You gotta take care of PAC" and she yells back that she will.
California Hamster Association (CHA) spokesperson David Imber told ABC News that while there is no doubt Bieber meant well, he had still unintentionally practiced "a form of animal cruelty."
"We have subsequently read that the recipient is attempting to be responsible about caring for the animal, but absent any other indication, in general it is extremely likely that this hamster would have been harmed," Imber added. "No pet, large or small, should ever be 'gifted' to an unknowing recipient."
The new owner of the hamster is 18-year-old girl named Victoria "Tori" Blair, who goes by the Twitter name Blondie. On December 14, a day after the incident, she shared on Twitter a photo of Bieber holding a small cage from behind a chain-link fence, Tweeting: "When just was giving me PAC (sic)."
She told ABC News that PAC is doing well. Since the incident, scores of Bieber fans have been contacting and following Blair on Twitter. She has been posted numerous updates, photos and videos of her new pet.
"I am now the proud owner of @justinbieber PAC!" she said on December 12, alongside a picture of herself and the caged hamster.
On December 17, she was asked: "How does it feel to touch pac and to know that Justin had him in his hands?"
"AWESOME," she replied.
"I love my hamster PAC and idc who don't like it. Y'all haters just making me more famous! ?? #hittheexit," she Tweeted on December 19.
On Friday, December 21, she Tweeted: "PAC is being so active today! I love it."