Two men fined after harassing swimming moose in Northern Ontario

Brown moose without antlers standing in a lake. Photo by Dennis W Donohue/Shutterstock

If you want to mess with Mother Nature, it’s going to cost you. That’s what two boaters have learned after being fined a total of $2,500 for harassing a cow moose swimming in a northwestern Ontario Lake.

The two men, Andrew Weiers of Dryden, Ont., and Matthew Weiers of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., pleaded guilty to the offence in the Ontario Court of Justice.

On July 29 on Eagle Lake, several witnesses saw the men repeatedly driving in tight circles around the swimming moose, preventing it from getting away and swimming ashore. At one point, the boat picked up three other adult passengers, and then continued to loop around the moose.

At one point, Matthew Weiers, a passenger in the boat, jumped into the water and climbed onto the moose’s back. He mounted the moose for just a few seconds before the creature darted into the woods.

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources said it received complaints about the boaters and were even sent a video of the reckless behaviour.

The boat, which is owned and operated by Andrew Weiers, has been seized and will be returned after the men pay the fines.

Michael Prepp, an enforcement manager with the ministry, says that there’s no indication the moose was physically hurt. “We think that it got away and that it was fine,” he said.