Grand Canyon investigating squirrel-kicking video - Tucson News Now

Grand Canyon investigating squirrel-kicking video

Officials say the geographical features in the video appear to match part of the Grand Canyon. (Source: YouTube) Officials say the geographical features in the video appear to match part of the Grand Canyon. (Source: YouTube)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (AP) -

Authorities are looking into a viral video that shows a man kicking a squirrel off what appears to be the edge of the Grand Canyon.

But park officials say the chances of finding the man are slim.

"Right now they are working on it," park spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski said Monday. "They realize that it's been seen by a lot of people and that there's some sensitivity to treatment of wildlife."

The video clip accompanying this story is edited to remove the part that shows the animal being kicked into the canyon.

The short video posted on YouTube shows a shirtless, barefoot man in shorts and a straw cowboy hat leaving a trail of food at the edge of a canyon. He then puts on one of his shoes and kicks the squirrel into the air. Another similarly dressed man looks on.

Shedlowski said the geographical features in the video appear to match part of the Grand Canyon. Authorities have reached out to YouTube seeking more information, she said. YouTube has removed access to the video on its site.

Messages sent Monday to the person who uploaded the video and to YouTube were not immediately returned.

Grand Canyon Chief Ranger Bill Wright said no one reported a squirrel being kicked over the edge of the canyon. Rather, the video was brought to the park's attention on Saturday. Since then, the park has received messages from people who said they were appalled and disgusted by the behavior of the man and urged authorities to hold him accountable.

Wright said he doesn't believe the video is a hoax.

"I think they took an opportunity to get something on video, which is really foolish," he said.

If found, the man could face a charge that falls into a category of disturbing or harassing wildlife - a federal petty offense that carries a maximum six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Wright said rangers likely would not pursue animal cruelty under a state statute because that would require them to retrieve the squirrel and prove that it was injured or had died.

The average depth of the Grand Canyon is 1 mile, but its rock outcroppings, trails, and other ledges don't guarantee that something going over the edge would fall a mile below, Wright said.

Squirrels are an everyday sight at the Grand Canyon and have become accustomed to visitors, climbing on their laps, begging for food and ransacking backpacks. Park officials discourage visitors from petting or feeding wildlife because the animals can bite or attack.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Family fights for Tucson doctor to lose his license

    Family fights for Tucson doctor to lose his license

    Monday, February 19 2018 11:34 PM EST2018-02-20 04:34:10 GMT
    White paper covers this placard at a medical office building in Tucson. (Source: Tucson News Now)White paper covers this placard at a medical office building in Tucson. (Source: Tucson News Now)

    Verna Carrillo died only days after starting a new pain management prescription in March of 2016. Doctor Gregory J. Porter is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, February 21, before an administrative law judge for his treatment of her as a patient. 

    Verna Carrillo died only days after starting a new pain management prescription in March of 2016. Doctor Gregory J. Porter is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday, February 21, before an administrative law judge for his treatment of her as a patient. 

  • Controversy over proposed hi-rise housing complex on 4th Avenue

    Controversy over proposed hi-rise housing complex on 4th Avenue

    Monday, February 19 2018 9:57 PM EST2018-02-20 02:57:18 GMT

    A proposal to build a 7-story housing complex at 4th and 6th along Fourth Avenue has created a concern and controversy as to whether it will change the iconic nature of the Tucson tourist attraction. 

    A proposal to build a 7-story housing complex at 4th and 6th along Fourth Avenue has created a concern and controversy as to whether it will change the iconic nature of the Tucson tourist attraction. 

  • Potholes posing problems for Tucsonans after rain

    Potholes posing problems for Tucsonans after rain

    Monday, February 19 2018 8:02 PM EST2018-02-20 01:02:47 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    Last week's rain brought on some new problem areas for Tucsonans. Several new potholes have popped up around the Old Pueblo. 

    Last week's rain brought on some new problem areas for Tucsonans. Several new potholes have popped up around the Old Pueblo. 

Powered by Frankly