2 moose riders fined $4,000 for harassing wildlife in northern B.C. lake
Year-long investigation of YouTube video sparked charges
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.