RILEY, Ore. (CNN/Gray News) - An 18-year-old man in Oregon was arrested on animal abuse charges after social media video allegedly showed him riding a mule deer.
Jacob Belcher, 18, faces charges of wildlife harassment and animal abuse, as announced Tuesday by the Oregon State Police.
State Police Fish & Wildlife Troopers were notified Sunday about a disturbing video making the rounds on social media. The video appeared to show a man climbing onto and riding on the back of a “live and exhausted” mule deer buck inside a fenced area.
The deer could be heard grunting and/or bleating while the man rode on him, officials say. After escaping the rider, the buck jumped into a fence multiple times, while attempting to get out of the pen.
Authorities believe the incident happened after the deer got trapped inside a feeding enclosure.
Belcher and an unnamed suspect, who was responsible for filming, were identified and interviewed. In addition to the charges against Belcher, charges of aiding in a wildlife offense against the second suspect will be referred to the Harney County District Attorney’s Office.
The deer was freed after the incident. Wildlife officials do not know what its current status is.