An animal welfare group is condemning an internet video that appears to show a coyote being beaten and killed by snowmobilers.
The Society for the Protection of Animals Canada (SPA) said in a news release Wednesday the video, which may have originated in the Grand Prairie area, goes beyond the act of animal cruelty. They said there are often underlying issues with the individuals involved.
“It is not enough to condemn. We also need to deal with the underlying problem, and education is one of the best ways to build awareness and eradicate animal suffering caused by humans,” says Dominique Routhier, an animal biologist for SPA Canada.
RCMP in Grande Prairie say they received a complaint about the video that was posted on social media.
Cpl. Maria Ogden says the video depicts an “inhumane death of a wild animal,” but she could not offer more details.
Brendan Cox, a communications adviser with the Alberta government confirmed to Global News on Thursday that they are looking into the incident, along with the Grand Prairie RCMP.
“I can tell you that as there may be Criminal Code considerations, the RCMP is leading this investigation, and the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch is assisting,” he said. “We have received a lot of information from the public, and this certainly helps. In conjunction with the RCMP, we are absolutely pursuing all avenues available to us.”
Global News has seen the video, which shows a young boy dragging the coyote by its hind legs and bashing it against the back of a snowmobile. The animal appears to be struggling throughout the video. The coyote is also jammed into a basket on the back of the vehicle. It tries to escape and the boy drives after it in the snowmobile. Another young voice is heard on the video.
Global News has not been able to confirm who recorded or shared the original video.
Alberta government spokesman Jason van Rassel says individuals in the video have been identified but it’s too early to speculate on possible charges.
— With files from the Canadian Press
READ MORE: What to do if you spot a coyote