Mike Epps Feds Look Closer at Kangaroo Vid ... Handler Wasn't 'In Control'

4/3/2017 7:51 AM PDT

Mike Epps Kangaroo Video, Feds Taking Closer Look

EXCLUSIVE

The kangaroo onstage with Mike Epps was not handled properly at all times, and now a federal agency is reviewing video of the incident ... TMZ has learned.

A rep for the U.S. Dept of Agriculture tells us the agency wants to make sure the kangaroo was not being mishandled during the comedy show where Mike Epps performed Friday night in Detroit. As we told you, many fans in the audience felt the kangaroo was cruelly displayed onstage. It was lifted up multiple times, and at least once Epps grabbed the animal's harness to pose for a photo.

The rep says the Animal Welfare Act requires all handlers to be "in control of the animal at all times."

You can tell from the video ... that just wasn't the case.

Mike is apologizing, saying he "did not mean any harm to the animal it got out of hand and I am sorry!" He says he will be making a donation to a kangaroo preservation group called Viva.