David Lucas, a DNR spokesman, said the agency received a complaint about the incident over the weekend. A tip sent to DNR included screenshots from a Snapchat video that investigators believe was recorded in the Summerville area.
Investigators have identified the people in the video and are talking with the teens and their parents, Lucas said. It was not known Tuesday whether charges will be filed.
Cierra Black watched the Snapchat video filmed by a mutual friend and shared the images to Facebook and with DNR.
Black said the video began with people poking at the opossum on a table in a garage.
A girl can be heard laughing saying, "You broke its leg haha!"
A teen grabbed the animal by its tail and held it over a dog. Black said one person threw the opossum in the air and another hit it with a baseball bat.
The animal landed on the ground where the individuals continued to beat it with a bat, she said.
"Disturbing is the word that comes to mind," Lucas said of the images.
I don't know what's more disturbing: the fact that they were OK with torturing and killing a small defenseless animal or the fact that they were so proud of their handiwork that they quickly uploaded photos and videos to Snapchat in an effort to be 'internet famous' with other like-minded sadists.
The incident comes at a time when another South Carolina wildlife cruelty case is fresh on people's minds.
In May, two Jasper County men were charged with misdemeanor harassment of wildlife for allegedly pouring beer into an alligator's mouth. DNR was also alerted to that case thanks to photos posted on social media.
Anonymous tips may be submitted to DNR's Operation Game Thief line at 1-800-922-5431 or by downloading the SCDNR Tips app from iTunes or Google Play.
Four of these disgusting human beings have been arrested and charged.
Bethany Polutta, 18, of Summerville, South Carolina and Austin Kizer, 19, of St. George, South Carolina, along with two people under age 18, have been charged with ill treatment of an animal, according to David Lucas, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
(Post and Courier - Sept 19, 2017)