“Help us catch YouTube squirrel killer,” pleads People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on their website yesterday. The group and its European affiliates are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual who is shown luring a squirrel with food and then punting the animal over the edge of the Grand Canyon, as seen in this now infamous YouTube video. The video went viral this week after a Virginia man on his first trip to the Grand Canyon caught the atrocity on camera and then posted it to YouTube.
According to an ABC7 report today, Jon Hildebrand told The Associated Press, "I was in such utter shock. I thought, 'Do people do this at the Grand Canyon?' "
PETA U.K. and PETA France are also involved. The perpetrator is rumored to be French or French Canadian. The 15,000 US dollar reward converts to 11,226.75 Euros, 16,397.70 Canadian dollars or 8,911.60 British pounds.
“It is imperative to find anyone who commits sadistic and violent acts against a vulnerable being, because the person will invariably harm others again if he or she isn’t stopped,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “Animal abusers are bullies and cowards who look to victimize the most vulnerable, defenseless individuals available to them—human or nonhuman—and this man must be caught as soon as possible.” Animal abusers are a serious threat to whole community and likely to escalate behavior unless stopped, warns PETA.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged by PETA to contact Grand Canyon Chief Ranger Bill Wright at 928-638-7888.
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For more information about helping animals, visit PETA.org.