On Friday, September 29, a video was uploaded to LiveLeak showing a golfer in Finland striking a goose in the head with a club with such force that the animal was decapitated. Whoever filmed the video can be heard laughing afterward.

The golf course director saw the video online and reported it to police. The video started going viral, and police arrested the man later that night, after he turned himself in, according to reports.

The golfer apparently tried to justify the cruel act by claiming that the bird had been injured and that he was trying to end his or her suffering. But regardless of the reason, striking an animal in the head is cruel and no way to treat any sentient being. Ducks and geese have unique personalities, much like those of the dogs and cats we share our homes with. And they can feel pain, fear, and suffering just as we do.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for humans to shoot at, torment, or kill geese or other birds. PETA receives calls every year from people who have come across birds with injuries.

At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Florida, a 19-year-old flamingo named Pinky died after a man snatched her from her pen and slammed her to the ground. Reports indicate that the alleged attacker was a 45-year-old man who was visiting the park with his family.

Last year, a swan died when a woman forced the struggling animal to pose for pictures, and two peacocks reportedly died at a zoo in China after visitors grabbed them for selfies and even pulled out some of their feathers.

What You Can Do

If the goose on the golf course was actually injured, he or she might have been saved, or at least humanely euthanized, if the golfer had contacted the proper authorities, animal control, or a wildlife rehabilitator. If you ever see or hear about anyone bullying a bird or any other animal, say something and try to stop the act!

If an animal is in danger or injured contact your local animal control agency or the police immediately, and if they’re not helpful, contact PETA.

Spread the word and check out our guide to handling an animal emergency.