Two men are being sought by wildlife authorities after a video surfaced showing them driving around with a federally protected owl.
The West Palm Beach, Fla., man shown in the video reportedly posted to his Facebook, “3 a.m. in the morning we are drunk and we are high. We bout to take this thing home and eat it up, just found it on the road,” according to WSVN.
The video reportedly had hundreds of thousands of views. The man is seen holding the owl while drinking what is described in the video as alcohol.
“[The video] infuriates me,” Amy Kight, animal care director at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, told the Sun-Sentinel.
Officials believe the Great Horned Owl shown is either stunned or dazed in the video, and most likely wounded.
Kight said she was told the men let the owl go the next day, but was saddened to know that the owl is still out there, injured and afraid.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the agencies are launching an investigation, but a spokeswoman said she didn’t know whether charges could be filed.
“Having an animal like this in your possession is a felony,” David Hitzig of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary told WSVN.
Contact Kristen DeSilva at 702-477-3895 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter: @kristendesilva