The dead animal count on Penn State’s campus is increasing, with the latest carcass found Tuesday.
Other wildlife and someone who is unlawfully hunting animals are to blame.
Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Mike Steingraber said four of the killings were carried out by at least one person. Reported mutilations of animals on campus, he said, were likely done by other wild animals.
The four killings believed to be done by humans involved one method. An X-acto knife was mounted to the skewer of a shish kebab, according to Steingraber, to carry out the killings. The animals that died from the X-acto knives were not mutilated.
The X-acto knife killings on campus were first reported Aug. 10. Two squirrels and a pair of rabbits have died from their injuries.
“It’s extremely sad that someone is doing this,” Steingraber said. “There’s no reason for it. It’s unlawful to do this. Those are game species that can be lawfully hunted, but this is not that. It’s not hunting. These animals are being killed needlessly, and there are laws against it.”
There have also been reports of a squirrel with a X-acto knife still embedded in its body on campus, though authorities have not been able to locate the animal to capture and treat it.
Charges, if filed, may include unlawful taking or possession of game and cruelty to wildlife.
Suspicious activity that might relate to the killings should be reported to the game commission at 570-398-4744 or Penn State police at 863-1111.