The brutal torture and murder of a popular duck in Texas has prompted outrage and a huge reward for anyone who can bring the human perpetrators to justice.
"George" was a common and welcome sight along San Antonio's River Walk, local NBC affiliate WOAI reports. He liked to tug the pants of patrons at The Original Mexican Restaurant in order to secure tortilla chips.
"He's very people friendly, and a lot of people feed him," Blayne Carver, manager of the River Walk restaurant, told WOAI. "He's just been a really, really good duck and always coming around. He was very, very popular."
The duck was last seen alive early on the morning of May 29, KVUE reports. An investigation by San Antonio police and Animal Care Services turned up surveillance footage of two men picking up the duck by the neck and throwing it into the river.
In an email to The Huffington Post, Lisa A. Norwood of San Antonio Animal Care Services (ACS) said that video from several sources was currently under review in the case, and ACS workers were also interviewing witnesses near the scene of the crime.
"Based on the initial investigation, those who caused George’s death could be charged with a State Jail Felony which carries a potential two year jail sentence and $10,000 fine," Norwood said. "Animal Care Services is urging anyone with information on the case to call 210-207-6000 and ask for the Cruelty Investigations division."
San Antonio Crime Stoppers has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the suspects, and The Humane Society of the United States said Tuesday they will chip in another $5,000, according to My San Antonio. Video shows that the two men who are considered suspects had four other friends who also might have information about the crime.
"There is no excuse for viciously attacking and killing defenseless animals like George the duck,” Katie Jarl, Texas state director of the Humane Society told local station KSAT. “We hope our reward helps find the men who committed this despicable crime so that there can be justice for George and all the people who enjoyed his company on the River Walk.”
Local artists have volunteered to help raise awareness, as well as funds, for George.
Ginette Callaway is a selling a water painting of the bird on eBay with the money going toward the reward fund, according to KVUE. There is also a "Justice for George" Facebook page that has so far been "liked" by more than 3,500 people and a YouTube tribute video.