Canada is not a-moosed: Men charged for riding swimming elk rodeo-style

© Wolftracker TV
Like many stupid ideas, this one probably started with a comment about holding beer. Two British Columbian men are charged with a variety of wildlife-related crimes for a moose-riding stunt that went viral.

It appeared to be a beautiful day on the remote Tuchodi Lakes in the northwestern British Columbia, so a large moose decided to take a swim. Like a celebrity sun-tanning on vacation, however, the casual dip soon went viral thanks to some pesky paparazzi.

In a video posted last June to the Wolftracker TV YouTube channel that subsequently went viral, the moose is chased by a boat across the otherwise serene waters. A shirtless man standing astride the bow then jumps aboard the hapless Alces alces and proceeds to take a spin on the moose for 15 seconds before falling off like a rodeo rider tossed from a bucking bronc.

Much like the moose, the Conservation Officer Service of British Columbia was not amused by the viral video, which they believed to have been recorded in the summer of 2014 based on snowpack in the background. The COS quickly opened an investigation to discover the identities of those involved.

On Thursday, the COS announced charges against two men, later identified as Bradley Crook and Jaysun Pinkerton by CTV News.

Crook and Pinkerton have each been charged with three offenses under the province’s Wildlife Act: harassing wildlife with the use of a boat, attempting to capture wildlife and hunting big game that is swimming. They are scheduled to appear in court on August 8.