Friday, January 10, 2014

Viral Moose Chase Video Lands Snowboarder in Hot Water

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Posting crazy videos to social media can generate momentary fame, but one particular video of a snowboarder chasing a moose through Montana's backcountry has also generated a fine.

Charlie Rush, 21, has been charged with animal harassment after pursuing a moose down Montana's Whitefish Mountain. Montana wildlife officials call the fine "a learning opportunity."

The evidence went viral after Rush and a 15-year-old companion posted a video of their extreme encounter on Facebook, with the caption, "Just chasing a moose while snowboarding ... no big deal."

But the Flathead National Forest Service has slapped Rush with a $250 fine.

"We do have regulations about harassing wildlife and this video fell under that," Wade Muehlhoff, a forest spokesman, told KRTV-TV."At the end of the video, you notice that the moose stops and turns. That could have had a very bad outcome for the snowboarder. We're very happy that neither the moose nor the snowboarder were injured."

Deadspin shared the video on Christmas Day, leading Yahoo! Sports to share it the next day. The story has gained online traction ever since.

The warden captain for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wasn't going to give the teen a citation because there's no statute in Montana prohibiting snowboarders from harassing wild animals. However, the Flathead National Forest officials were the ones to fine the man. The fine could be based on laws that make it unlawful for snowmobilers to "chase, harass, herd, or rally wild animals."

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