(Gray News) - Wildlife officials in Pennsylvania are investigating after a video circulated on Facebook that allegedly showed two men assaulting an injured deer.
Chip Brunst, a supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, told KDKA the graphic video surfaced Saturday night. It reportedly shows two men laughing as they step on an injured deer and kick it multiple times in the face.
The commission released a statement Sunday on Facebook that said they were aware of the video and are investigating.
“The conduct portrayed in the video is reprehensible and potentially a violation of the law,” read the statement in part.
Brunst told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the commission has been “inundated” with tips about the video. They believe they have determined the identities of the two suspects.
The men could potentially face a summary charge of harassing wildlife and a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty.
“It’s not who we are as hunters,” said Bob Chase, vice president of the Pennsylvania Hunting and Fishing Addicts group, according to KDKA. “It sickens me to find out that something like that gets out, and a lot of people think, ‘Hey, this is what these guys do in the woods.’ It’s not at all like that.”
Authorities are currently trying to establish where the video took place and what jurisdiction that location would fall into, the Tribune-Review reports.
“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.”
State police are assisting with the investigation.
The video has spurred a petition at Change.org to charge the hunters with the maximum sentencing. More than 250,000 have signed the petition as of late Monday morning.
Copyright 2019 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.