Footage of a woman capturing a sparrow with her bare hands before shoving it into a plastic bag and tying it up with the bird still flapping inside has gone viral.
The video, which was taken in Washington Square Park, Philadelphia, by NBA Shooting Coach Chris Matthews and his girlfriend, has caused global outrage.
Here is the shocking footage:
You can see the woman with a very calm-looking man, attracting the small birds with breadcrumbs before slowly moving her arm closer to them, before quickly reaching out to grab one.
Speaking to UNILAD, Chris Matthews explained what happened:
Me and my girlfriend were in Washington Square Park, Philadelphia when we saw the woman capturing birds. We started filming as soon as we realised what was happening.
Honestly, we just couldn’t believe what we were seeing! We were in such shock that someone would capture the birds in broad daylight, that we began recording.
Thankfully after we stopped recording the video, the couple released the birds.
Talking about how he and his girlfriend felt at the time, Chris said:
We were in complete shock. We were not only concerned for the well-being of the birds, but we were also concerned about the children in the park that were witnessing this happening. This is certainly not something we’ve ever seen before.
My girlfriend and I are new to Philadelphia and had not seen anything like this before.
Chris, aka Lethal Shooter, uploaded the video to Twitter and it received over 666 retweets and nearly 1000 likes, prompting huge outrage amongst commenters.
Talking about the reaction the video received on Twitter, Chris said:
Honestly, it’s mixed reactions. There is a large group of people who are most concerned about the animals and their well-being; however, it saddens us the most that people are making fake stories about it and making jokes about the racial makeup of the people in the video.
One commenter wrote:
Omg, awful. They probably suffocated. Next time you see something like that, please approach the person. I’m shocked that no one else did especially in broad daylight!
Any person who would sit in a public park and feed birds to catch them and put them in a sealed, plastic bag is a disgusting person.
Pa. Game Warden Jerrold W. Czech, Jr. told Billy Penn:
This is the first time that I ever heard of or saw this report [in Philadelphia County].
Depending on how many and what kinds of birds the couple possessed or killed, they could be charged with a summary violation under the PA Game and Wildlife Code Title 34.
Many commenters made assumptions that the birds were being caught to be eaten, while others commented on how ‘cool’ the guy sitting next to her is, saying ‘they’ve definitely done this before’.
An outraged Twitter user said:
I’m fu**ing stunned. These little birds ain’t see it coming. Omg this is gross. I don’t know which is worse. The people that fish and eat out the Schuylkill or them.
According to Lethal Shooter’s now deleted Instagram post, the pair reported the couple to park rangers who approached the couple and made them aware that catching birds is illegal.
The US National Park Service are investigating the incident.