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An Oregon teen has been arrested after a “disturbing” video allegedly showed him riding an “exhausted” mule deer buck that was trapped in a fenced enclosure.
Jacob Belcher, 18, is now facing charges of wildlife harassment and animal abuse after the Oregon State Police said the terrified animal could be heard grunting or bleating throughout the video as it tried to escape, according to a statement from the department.
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers received information on Friday, December 6, about the unsettling video, which was being shared on social media.
“The video displayed what appeared to be a young adult male climbing onto, and eventually riding on the back of a live and exhausted mule deer buck while it was contained within a fenced enclosure,” state police said.
The police said the animal in the recording seemed to be in distress, and after escaping the rider, the deer jumped into a linked fence multiple times while trying to escape.
Authorities believe the buck trapped itself in the fenced feeding enclosure before the teen tried to mount him.
The deer was eventually freed, although it’s not known where the deer is currently or his condition.
During their investigation, troopers were able to identify the rider as Belcher, police said. He was located and interviewed by troopers at a ranch in Harney County before his arrest.
A second suspect, who allegedly filmed the video, has also been identified. The Harney County District Attorney’s Office is considering charges of aiding in a wildlife offense for that suspect.
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