Conservation officers in British Columbia are investigating a YouTube video of an ATVer chasing a moose down a forested, backcountry road.
The video, which was originally published in October 2014, shows two people on an ATV chasing the frightened moose for two minutes. The video ends with the moose still running alongside the ATV, as the riders shriek and laugh.
In an interview with CTV, conservation officer David Webster says he’s currently investigating the incident. “The cow was obviously very stressed. The vehicle was pursuing it at a high rate of speed, to the point where the animal was panicked. It wasn’t too pleasant to watch.”
While the original video has since been removed, another user posted a copy. The original description notes that the footage is from an October hunting trip to the small town of Greenwood, B.C. and that the ATV reached a top-speed of 57 kilometres per hour.
“We rounded a corner and found this cow walking down the centre of the road. We stopped to look since moose aren’t in season and it’s always amazing to see just how enormous they are,” the author of the video writes.
“Well she stopped too. Just turned her head to look back at us. So we got moving again since we had limited time to get back to camp before dark. She started along the road again too. This back and forth went on for a solid ten minutes before I decided to get my phone out and record this ridiculousness.”
In an interview with the CBC, Webster says that people—especially in vehicles—should be mindful of wildlife on roads and give them the right of way.
“It may take a bit of effort and you may have to take an alternative route even, but in the long run, it’s better for yourself and the wildlife animal.”
According to B.C.’s Wildlife Act, it is illegal to harass animals with a vehicle. If the ATVers are persecuted, they could face a fine of up to $100,000.
There’s precedence for these kinds of offences. Earlier this year, B.C. conservation officers investigated a YouTube video showing a man jumping off the back of a boat and onto the back of a moose.