Wade Muehlhof, a spokesman for the Flathead National Forest, said officials decided to levy a fine when they saw the video of Whitefish High School student Hunter Lamoureux of Kalispell and his friend Charlie Rush with the caption, "Just chasing a moose while snowboarding ... no big deal," KRTV, Great Falls, Mont., reported Wednesday.
"We do have regulations about harassing wildlife, and this video fell under that. A citation was issued to the snowboarder who was chasing the moose. While that's a punitive kind of thing, really what's important is that learning opportunity -- to learn that that was not the best action to take," Muehlhof said.
He said the incident could have had a far more costly outcome.
"If moose feel threatened and go to protect themselves, a person can be seriously injured by them. At the end of the video, you notice that the moose stops and turns," he said. "That could have had a very bad outcome for the snowboarder. We're very happy that neither the moose nor the snowboarder were injured. It's very important to get the message out that if you encounter wildlife, please don't engage with the wildlife. Be patient; usually they'll move out of the way, or find a different way around."
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