B.C. moose-riding duo ordered to pay thousands in fines
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2:08 PM - Two men from British Columbia have been convicted of harassing wildlife and now face thousands of dollars in fines in connection with a moose riding video that surfaced online two years ago.
The footage posted to YouTube in June 2015, shows a shirtless man in plaid shorts on a motorboat as it approaches a moose in a shallow body of water that was later identified as Tuchodi Lakes, which is located about 120 km southwest of Fort Nelson. The man then appears to jump on the animal's back for several seconds before falling off. Others can be heard laughing on the boat.
The video was posted by B.C.-based group Wolftracker TV and has since gained over 2 million views. The person behind Wolf Tracker, identified only by that handle, told the Calgary Sun he spotted the video on a Facebook profile, and saved it before the original post was deleted.
The Conservation Officer Service launched an investigation after receiving a public complaint. A report was submitted to Crown counsel recommending charges against two males from Fort St. John.
In June 2016, Bradley Crook and Jaysun Pinkerton, were charged with three counts under The Wildlife Act including, harassing wildlife with the use of a boat, attempting to capture wildlife and hunting big game that is swimming.
On Friday, the men were convicted and ordered to each pay $4,000 in fines, which included a $2,000 payment each to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
A member of the B.C. Conservation Service David Vince told CBC the incident was "the ultimate form of harassment."
"You can see that the moose is struggling with that fellow on her back," he told the news agency. "You can see the fright in her eyes."
SOURCES: Calgary Sun | Canadian Press | CBC News