By Carmen Weld
A video of a man jumping from a boat on to a swimming moose is going viral, as conservation officials try to track down the thrill-seeker.
The video was originally posted on Facebook but pulled following the backlash. It was then re-uploaded Sunday by B.C.-based group Wolftracker TV in hopes of catching those involved. It has been viewed more than 155,000 times.
In it, a group of men is seen chasing a moose on what is believed to be Tuchodi Lakes, two connected lakes about 125 kilometres southwest of Fort Nelson.
The moose is in front of them, wading through the water. When the boat gets close enough, one of the men onboard jumps on the back of the animal and rides it for a short time before he is bucked off and the moose scrambles away.
Several people can be heard laughing from the boat, and one man exclaims, “I’ve never seen something this awesome!”
David Vince, a conservation sergeant in Fort St. John, told CTV the B.C. Conservation Service has received numerous calls about the minute-long clip. Based on the information received so far, “it doesn’t look like this video was taken this year.”
He says another conservation officer has been assigned to the case and is trying to determine where exactly the video was taken and track down the man who jumped on the moose.
“Wildlife harassment is an offence,” Vince says, adding that fines for convictions are determined by a judge.
A similar incident involving two boaters in Ontario led to a hefty fine in the fall of 2013.
In that case, two men were fined a total of $2,500 for harassing a cow moose swimming in a northern Ontario lake. Video.