RILEY, Ore. — An Oregon man was arrested last week after videos surfaced of him "riding" a trapped and exhausted deer, according to Oregon State Police (OSP).
OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers began looking into the case after other wildlife officials saw the "disturbing" video 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," OSP said in a statement.
In the video, the mule deer buck could be heard grunting and bleating in distress, eventually trying multiple times to escape by jumping into a linked fence.
Troopers eventually identified two suspects in the Harney County town of Riley. After going to Riley, troopers interviewed 18-year-old Jacob Belcher on a rural ranch before arresting him on charges of Wildlife Harassment and Animal Abuse II.
"The investigation and interviews revealed that the buck mule deer had entrapped itself within a fenced feeding enclosure, before being ridden by Belcher," OSP said. "The buck was eventually freed and its status at this time is unknown."
Another suspect who reportedly filmed the incident was identified and charged with Aiding in a Wildlife Offense, which was referred to the Harney County District Attorney's Office. Belcher was lodged in the Harney County Jail, though he no longer appears on the jail roster.