2 moose riders fined $4,000 for harassing wildlife in northern B.C. lake

A judge has ordered Bradley Crook and Jaysun Pinkerton to each pay $4,000 in fines after they filmed themselves chasing and riding a moose on a northern B.C. lake.

Year-long investigation of YouTube video sparked charges

A man who jumped from a motorboat onto a moose in northern B.C. is one of two people convicted of harassing wildlife. (Wolftracker TV/YouTube)

Two men have been convicted in a moose riding incident on a northern B.C. lake that made international headlines and sparked outrage on social media. 

Bradley Dale Crook and Jaysun Allan Pinkerton of Fort St. John appeared in court Friday afternoon in Fort Nelson.

Both pleaded guilty to one count of harassing wildlife.

The Crown stayed charges of attempting to capture wildlife and hunting big game while it is swimming. 

Judge B. A. Daley imposed a $4,000 fine on each man, including a $2,000 payment each to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to be used in the B.C. Peace region.

The moose harassment took place July 11, 2014 on Tuchodi Lakes in Northern Rocky Mountains Provincial Park near Fort Nelson, about 1,500 kilometres north of Vancouver.

'Let's get on that moose!'

A video  posted on YouTube shows a motorboat chasing a moose through shallow water as a man shouts, "Wait 'til he's swimming. Let's get on that moose!"

A man in bathing trunks claps his hands in glee before leaping from the boat on to the moose's back.

He rides the animal for 15 seconds as the moose struggles and bucks in the water.  

'You can see the fright' in the moose's eyes

One of the boat passengers shouts, "I've never seen anything so awesome." Others in the boat laugh.

David Vince of the B.C. Conservation Service called it "the ultimate form of harassment."

"You can see that the moose is struggling with that fellow on her back. You can see the fright in her eyes," Vince said.

The video was flagged to conservation officials by a group called Wolftracker in 2015.

Crook and Pinkerton were charged after a year-long investigation.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.