In a video that went viral online, an unnamed Frenchman was shown kicking a squirrel into the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Now the UK branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is offering a $17,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the squirrel-kicker.
PETA urged anyone with details to relay information to the Grand Canyon’s chief ranger, and calls the man seen in the video a “heartless thug.”
In the clip, (the original has been deleted from YouTube), a shirtless man is seen setting down crumbs to lure a squirrel to the edge of the cliff, before kicking it into the canyon, while his friend in biker shorts watches.
Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski said that rangers have been investigating the video, and have concluded that it appears to have been shot at the Grand Canyon, but when and exactly where is still vague.
Here is a copy of the clip of the incident:
If the kicker is caught, he could face a charge of wildlife harassment, which carries a penalty of up to six months imprisonment and a $5,000 fine, Shedlowski said.
The Frenchmen from the video did not make any new fans on Twitter:
Heartless thug who kicked a squirrel into the Grand Canyon in a YouTube clip has a $16K bounty put on his head http://t.co/4nlfMpO9p5
— slone (@slone) August 6, 2014
Some French people kicked a squirrel off the rim of the Grand Canyon because that's how rude French people are. http://t.co/LtssVwzeiU
— Jon Mooallem (@jmooallem) August 6, 2014
— Junie Woonie (@The_Evil_Barbie) August 3, 2014
— Kathleen Smith (@MrsDrAtlantis) August 2, 2014
PETA, founded in 1980, is the largest animal rights group in the world, with over 3 million members and supporters. Its slogan reads, “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any way.”
Image via YouTube