BROOKVILLE, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Game Commission is investigating after a video of two kids kicking and abusing a deer has been circulating on Facebook.
Officials with the Game Commission said they have to determine where the video was filmed before the investigation can proceed.
“We are uncertain where the incident actually took place at, but it is the game commission that is investigating it, by a couple of different officers in a couple of different offices,” Game Commission Officer Chip Brunst said in an interview shared by sister station KDKA with WTAJ.
Brunst said the video could lead to charges.
The Game Commission will look at the state’s Title 34 game and wildlife code as well as Title 18, which includes cruelty to animals.
WTAJ is choosing to blur the video due to its graphic nature, but in the video, two kids are seen kicking a deer in the face after shooting it, and stepping on it’s legs and ripping off its antlers, while it was still alive.
The video went viral and Facebook users from all over are saying things like “These young men need to be taught a lesson” and “This is so heartbreaking.”
Spice Brooks, one of the original posters of the video, gave a statement to WTAJ Monday regarding why she shared the video:
“The video is heartbreaking. To see people treat an animal with such violence while showing absolutely no remorse is shocking. It’s direct proof of the evil that’s in this world… The video blew up because, within the first few seconds of it, the viewer is immediately affected emotionally. It makes people want to get involved and raise awareness.”
On Sunday morning, some Facebook users created a petition calling for criminal charges against both teens for “the torturing of innocent wildlife.”
The petition has gained hundreds of thousands of signatures since it was created. (Update: it is currently climbing past 530,000 signatures.)
But some folks in Brookville say it’s hunting season and this is considered normal.
“We’re in redneck Pennsylvania, people go possum stomping, its nothing different than that,” Brookville resident, Jordan Mescall said. “It’s wrong yes, but you can’t control other people.”
Another Brookville resident, and employee at a gun shop, Zack Lash, says he’s appalled by what happened in the video.
“Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I’ve never seen anything like that around here with people that I knew.”
Lash says he knows one of the young men and didn’t think he would do something like this.
Lash is a seasoned hunter and he believes most hunters know to respect the animals they kill. He says if you shoot a deer and it doesn’t die, “shoot it again and put it out of its misery.”
The Pennsylvania Game Commission commented on one of the videos that was posted.
“Thank you for sharing this with us and for your concern for Pennsylvania wildlife,” the Game Commission commented. “We are aware of the incident and we are investigating it.”