Two men from Fort St. John, B.C. are facing three charges under The Wildlife Act following an investigation into a video posted on social media of a boater jumping on top of a moose swimming in Tuchodi Lakes near the town of Fort Nelson in June 2015.
Jaysun Pinkerton and Bradley Crook have both been charged with the following: harassment of wildlife with the use of a boat; an attempt to capture wildlife, and hunting big game that is swimming. The charges laid are a result of a year-long investigation by the B.C. Conservation Service.
The video, which was posted to YouTube in June 2015 but believed to have taken place in 2014, showed people riding in a boat on Tuchodi Lakes and a moose is in front of them, moving through shallow water. When the boat gets close enough to the moose, one man jumps on its back.
His friends are laughing, the moose groans and sinks underwater, before dipping back up. The man then rides the moose for 15 seconds before he’s thrown off. The moose, now in deeper water, emits another groan and wades away.
“I’ve never seen something this awesome!” says one of the friends watching the proceedings.
But few people agreed with the participants. The video was originally posted on Facebook but has since been taken down.
At the time the video surfaced, Global News spoke to David Vince, a sergeant in the B.C. Conservation Service in the North Peace zone who said the video shows the participants “clearly harassing wildlife, chasing it with a jet boat and then jumping on its back” and that “you could just see the fear in the animal’s eyes.”
Vince said he has never seen anything like this before. “I’ve never seen anybody go out of their way to scare wildlife,” he said.
The pair’s first court appearance is set for August 8 at the Fort Nelson Provincial Court.
~ with files from Justin McElroy