An 18-year-old from Oregon has been arrested and charged with animal abuse and wildlife harassment charges after officials found video on social media that showed him allegedly riding a mule deer buck.
According to the Oregon State Police, officials were forwarded the video by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife that appeared to show "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," a press release about the arrest said. Authorities posted a screenshot from the video, which showed a young man in a black sweatshirt grasping onto the buck's antlers while he rode on the deer's back.
In the video, the mule deer buck can be heard grunting and bleating as the rider sits on top. At one point, the buck managed to escape its rider and began jumping into a nearby fence while it attempted to escape the enclosure.
After reviewing the video, troopers were able to identity of two suspects, including the alleged rider, Jacob Belcher, 18, of Riley, Oregon and another person who allegedly videoed the ride. Troopers went to a rural ranch in Harney County where Belcher lived and interviewed him about the video. Belcher was arrested and was taken to the Harney County Jail on charges of wildlife harassment and animal abuse, police said.
The person accused of filming the encounter could also face charges of aiding in a wildlife offense.
"The investigation and interviews revealed that the buck mule deer had entrapped itself within a fenced feeding enclosure, before being ridden by Belcher. The buck was eventually freed and its status at this time is unknown," Oregon State Police wrote.
Photo: Oregon State Police