BRITISH COLUMBIA

Moose rider who stressed animal under investigation: B.C. conservation officer

06/22/2015 07:50 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - British Columbia's chief conservation officer says tips are coming in about the identity of several boaters seen harassing a swimming moose before one of them jumped on the animal's back for a ride.

Doug Forsdick says that while a YouTube video posted Saturday shows the men laughing at their friend's apparent exploit, he found it hard to watch because the moose would have been stressed.

Forsdick says an investigation is underway but that he couldn't say when the video was taken or provide the exact location of the incident, somewhere in northern B.C. waterway.

He says harassment of wildlife is a serious offence and carries a minimum fine of $345, but the cost of such behaviour can go up to $100,000.

Forsdick says moose usually like to stay away from people and there have been other incidents involving boaters who try to chase the animals or herd them back into the water.

He says that could lead to the death of a stressed-out animal or cause serious injury to people who need to be educated about public safety around wildlife.