Two Fort St. John men have been charged in relation to an infamous Youtube video, which showed one man riding a swimming moose across a British Columbia lake.
The year-long investigation has led to the suspects being charged with three counts under the B.C. Wildlife Act. The charges include harassing wildlife with the use of a boat, attempting to capture wildlife, and hunting big game that’s swimming.
The video, which was shot from a motor boat, shows a man standing on the boat’s edge as it inches closer to a moose swimming across the lake. With the boat nearly on top of the animal, the man jumps onto the moose and begins riding it.
“I’ve never seen something so awesome,” one of the boat passengers exclaims, while the others laugh hysterically.
The man on the moose lifts his hand in the air, but after about 15 seconds, he falls off the moose and into the water.
The shocking video was posted to Facebook and then promptly deleted. Before the original was removed, it was captured and posted to Youtube by Steve and Chris Wolfe, owners of Wolftracker TV. The Wolfes passed on screenshots from the original post to conservation officers and identified the body of water as the Tuchodi Lakes, southwest of Fort Nelson, B.C.
The Wolfes later told the Toronto Star that they “do not know these people personally” and were disgusted with their behaviour. And they weren’t alone—the Youtube video racked up millions of views and caused a huge uproar online. Not surprisingly, many viewers were concerned for the animal’s welfare and called for the men in the video to be punished.
The two men, who have not been named, are due to appear in court in Fort Nelson on August 8th.