VANCOUVER, British Columbia – If you see a moose and start to think riding it sounds like a good idea… just stop.
What started as a joke may end with some serious consequences for a Canadian man and his friends.
It’s clear the man in the video thinks this is fun; when the boat gets close enough, he makes the jump onto the back of a moose.
Officials said it was posted to Facebook and when a hunter in Prince George saw it, he posted it to YouTube and alerted authorities.
“I was absolutely disgusted, it’s not illegal, it’s absolutely unethical,” hunter Steve Wolfe said. “That moose was chased around for who knows how long.”
Now conservation officers are investigating the serious offense.
“It’s an offense under the Wildlife Act, the harassing the moose, the harassing of the boat, there’s no question that what they’re doing is illegal under the Wildlife Act and it’s cruel to the animal, the animal’s obviously stressed out,” Conservation officer Peter Pauwels said.
After a similar incident in Ontario, two people pleaded guilty to harassing wildlife.
Officers seized their boat until they paid a $2,500 fine.
Under the British Columbia Wildlife Act, fines go up to $100,000.
“We’d be looking at trying to get as big a fine as possible against everyone involved,” Pauwels said.
The Facebook page where the video was originally posted is no longer public.
An act that was humorous at the time may not be so funny if the culprits face charges and stiff fines.
Authorities are asking for anyone with information to contact officers.