Authorities are looking into a viral Internet video that shows a man kicking a squirrel off what appears to be the edge of the Grand Canyon. The 15-second video posted on YouTube purports to show a man putting food in a line to the edge of the Grand Canyon for a waiting squirrel. Once the squirrel reached the edge, he then kicks it off the edge as what he thinks is a hilarious joke.
The rangers at the Grand Canyon agree that the site appears to match one of the overlooks but that they are still trying to identify the two men shown wearing cowboy hats and shorts. The man, if found, could be charged with disturbing or harassing wildlife — a federal petty offense that carries a maximum six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Notably, the more obvious charge of animal cruelty is not being considered because such state charge would require them to retrieve the squirrel and prove that it was injured or had died. However, rangers say that they still are unable to identify the man despite a $16,000 bounty from PETA on any information leading to his arrest.
As an advent hiker and animal lover, this type of film leaves me as confused as it does depressed. Assuming that this video is real, I just cannot understand why anyone would enjoy killing an animal in this way or think that it was funny. What is clear is that this guy lacks a very basic element of humanity and empathy that distinguishes our species. That makes him not only grotesque but dangerous. If you find killing defenseless animals funny, there is a great deal of cruelty that you would equally enjoy.
Hopefully, someone moronic enough to do such an act will brag about it to enough people to result in his identification. Certainly the Internet community is helping by posting these images.
Source: Washington Post