Three men from Keokuk have been charged with animal torture after they were shown in a video allegedly torturing an injured opossum on July 6th.

DNR conservation officer Ben Schlader says the three apparently found the animal after it was hit by a car and then took the video mistreating the animal while it was still alive.

“It starts off as one of the individuals holds the opossum by its tail and swings it back and forth several times before appearing to throw the opossum,” Schlader says. “The next part of the video shows the opossum on the ground and two individuals hitting it with objects.”

The three men charged with animal torture are 19-year-old Jerry McGee, 18-year-old Austin Salyers and 19-year-old Casey Taylor. Schlader says the actions the men take on the video is the reason they were charged. He says they should have humanely taken care of the animal instead of swinging it around and hitting it multiple times.

Schlader says he got all kinds of calls after people saw the video and he wasn’t the only one. “The Keokuk Police Department received multiple complaints. The county attorney’s office also received a lot of complaints, both by people calling and social media. Obviously this video was posted on Facebook and generated a huge amount of complaints and controversy over this behavior,” according Schlader. The charge against the men is an aggravated misdemeanor.

They are scheduled to appear in Lee County court on July 26th.