The Pennsylvania Game Commission is investigating a viral Facebook video that shows two men assaulting an injured deer.
Chip Brunst, Information & Education supervisor for the commission’s Northwest Region, said the commission was made aware of the video over the weekend and immediately began investigating it.
“(There are) not a lot of details I can provide right now,” Brunst told the Tribune-Review on Sunday. “We’re still trying to establish how it happened and where it happened.
“That video, obviously it was posted on Facebook, but we don’t know where it was taken at. We need to establish that before we can even establish whose jurisdiction this falls into.”
The video shows the injured deer lying on the ground near a tree. One of the men walks up to the deer and kicks it multiple times in the face while the other films the assault.
Both are laughing.
It also shows one of the men holding the deer by its antlers and the other pressing his foot on the deer’s neck. The man holding the deer by its antlers kicks the deer multiple times in the face.
The Game Commission is asking anyone with information related to the video to call 1-888–PGC-8001 or the Game Commission’s Northwest Region Dispatch Office at 814-432-3187.
“The Pennsylvania Game Commission is aware of a video purporting to show individuals assaulting an injured deer,” the Game Commission posted on its Facebook Sunday. “The conduct portrayed in the video is reprehensible and potentially a violation of the law.”
Brunst declined to give an opinion on the video citing the ongoing investigation, but said members of the public are appalled by what happened and have praised the Game Commission for taking quick action.
He said the Game Commission has been “inundated” with tips regarding the video.
“We received a phone call from a guy that’s fishing off the coast of Africa right now,” Brunst said. “He was looking at Facebook and he saw it and called us to comment on it.”
Brunst said the Game Commission knows who the suspects in the video are, but he declined to release their names Sunday.
“I can’t comment on that just yet because we have to protect their rights,” he said.
State police at the Punxsutawney station are assisting with the investigation. According to Brunst, the men could potentially face a summary charge of harassing wildlife, which is under the state Game and Wildlife code, and a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty, which is under the state Crimes Code.
“We’re trying to do the best we can, but we do have to allow the investigation time to unfold,” Brunst said. “Certain law enforcement, legal steps have to be followed.”