The B.C. Conservation Service says it is investigating an incident, believed to be in northern B.C., where a man jumped on the back of a moose and rode on the animal in the water for several seconds before being tossed off.
In the video – embedded above and posted on Saturday by YouTube user Wolftracker TV – a boat chases the moose for the majority of the video before the man is able to hop on its back, to the laughter of his friends on the boat. The moose can be heard groaning when he is boarded by the boater, whose face is never really visible to the camera.
Wolftracker, which appears to be a hunting-based YouTube channel, calls the man a “moron” on its video caption and says, “This is what NOT to do.”
Sgt. David Vince, speaking to The Province newspaper, said he believes the incident took place last fall, based on the warm conditions, on Tuchodi Lakes. He expects the man to be charged with ‘harassing wildlife’, under the Wildlife Act.
“In this particular case, we have really good evidence with the video and it’s something we will pursue through the Crown… rather than just issue a ticket and walk away,” Vince told the newspaper. “We have to send a message that this behavior is not welcomed. The animal certainly did not welcome it. You could tell it was in distress.
“It was a dangerous stunt for both the man and the animal.”
Speaking to Buzzfeed Canada, Wolftracker TV’s Steve and Chris Wolfe said they’re sure the video was filmed near Fort St. John in July, 2014. Vince told Buzzfeed the Service has started collecting names from the general public, in the search to find the men behind the video – and the stunt.
There is precedent for something like this: in 2013, two men – Andrew and Matthew Weiers – were fined $2,500 after pleading guilty to harassing a moose near Dryden, Ontario, after a video showed them and others pulling similar prank on a moose there (via CBC News).
(The video of that Ontario incident has been posted below, although no recording is available of the men circling back and jumping on the moose’s back, which apparently happened after the Weiers stopped filming.)
VIDEO: Man attempts to jump on moose’s back in Ontario