Video of Snowboarder Chasing Moose Garners Citation

By Beacon Staff

A 52-second video posted online of a snowboarder chasing a moose at Whitefish Mountain Resort went viral and garnered a citation by the U.S. Forest Service for harassing wildlife.

The video, posted Dec. 19 on Facebook, shows a snowboarder approaching a moose on a ski run on Big Mountain and continuing to chase the animal as it darts down the mountain. The video is accompanied by a description, “Just chasing a moose while snowboarding … no big deal.”

The clip spread quickly, with websites like Deadspin and Yahoo Sports reposting it. It caught the attention of law enforcement and after reviewing the footage, the Forest Service decided to cite the snowboarder $200, plus a $25 processing fee, according to Flathead National Forest spokesperson Wade Muehlhof.

The citation fell under federal regulations prohibiting the harassment of wildlife, Muehlhof said.

Forest officials hope the widely publicized video and citation will raise awareness about the dangers and troubles of harassing wild animals.

“The citation is a tool to get the message out that the better decision is to not engage the wildlife. During the winter, wildlife are already stressed. They have reduced food sources, harsh environment and chasing it further stresses it. It can be unhealthy for the wildlife,” Muehlhof said.

There’s also the serious danger that wild animals present, he said.

“Obviously we don’t want that to have a bad outcome. We were very happy that the snowboarder was not injured,” he said. “What we want to prevent is a different outcome.”

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