Grand Canyon Squirrel Kicker

Grand Canyon Squirrel Kicker

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Overview

Grand Canyon Squirrel Kicker refers to an unidentified man who was seen kicking a squirrel off a cliff into the Grand Canyon in a YouTube video uploaded in August 2014. The video quickly sparked outrage online and prompted PETA to offer a $15,000 reward for tips leading to the identification of the kicker.

Background

On August 2nd, 2014, Jon Hildebrand[6] of Virginia posted a video to YouTube which showed two men at the Grand Canyon, one of whom kicked a squirrel over the edge. The video was quickly taken down. Hildebrand explained his state of mind when taking the video to the Associated Press, saying:

""I was in such utter shock. I thought, ‘Do people do this at the Grand Canyon?’ "


Hildebrand also explained at least one of the men was speaking French.

The video was quickly taken down and put up again by AP News[7] also on August 2nd, within a week the video has gained over 250,000 views.



Notable Developments

Park’s Response

On August 4th, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park officially stated they were looking into the incident, with Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski,[2] a parks spokeswomen explaining:

“It is under investigation. We are working with YouTube to see if we can get any additional information.”


The investigation was covered by many news sites including Jezebel[8], Daily Mail[9] and Fox News.[10]

PETA Reward

On August 8th, 2014, The Independent[4] published an article titled “Squirrel kick video: £10,000 reward offered to track down French men who kicked squirrel into Grand Canyon.” The article explained animal rights group PETA was offering a reward of $16,870 to whoever can aid the police in finding the two men in the squirrel video. The reward was a result of branches of PETA in France, the United States and the United Kingdom pooling their resources. The article went on to explain that if the men are caught, they could be forced to pay up to a $5,000 fine or spend up to six months in jail.

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