RILEY, Ore. (WTHR) – An 18-year-old Oregon man is being charged with animal abuse after a video on social media showed him riding a mule deer.
Jacob Belcher, 18, faces charges of wildlife harassment and animal abuse, according to Oregon State Police.
Police say 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."
The mule deer buck could be heard "grunting and/or bleating" throughout the video.
Police say after escaping the rider, the buck jumped into a linked fence, multiple times, attempting to escape the enclosure.
Authorities believe the incident happened after the deer got trapped inside the fenced in feeding enclosure. The deer was eventually freed and it's status is unknown at this time.
Belcher was arrested and lodged at the Harney County Jail on charges of Wildlife Harassment and Animal Abuse II.
Another suspect, who was responsible for filming the incident, was identified and interviewed as well. Charges of Aiding in a Wildlife Offense will be referred to the Harney County District Attorney’s Office.