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Conservation officers urge Moose Rider to surrender

Twelve days after video of a man riding a swimming moose surfaced online, Conservation Officers are urging the so-called Moose Rider to turn himself in. "I expect him to come forward and pony up," said Sgt. David Vince of the B.C.
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A screen capture from a viral video of a man riding a moose in a body of water north of Fort St. John. Conservation Officers investigating the video are urging the men to turn themselves in.

Twelve days after video of a man riding a swimming moose surfaced online, Conservation Officers are urging the so-called Moose Rider to turn himself in.

"I expect him to come forward and pony up," said Sgt. David Vince of the B.C. Conservation Office in Fort St. John.

"They know we're on them, they know that. I expect them to come and do the right thing and say 'I did this.'"

Vince said the investigation is "very active" and while charges are yet to be approved, multiple suspects have been identified.

Tips have come in from as far away as Michigan, while CNN and ABC News have expressed interest in sending crews to the Peace.

"We're making headway, there's no question about it," Vince said. "We've had lots of public support, we're really pleased."

The video was posted by B.C. YouTube user Wolftracker TV June 22 and quickly went viral. As of July 2, it had been viewed 1.8 million times. It was likely filmed last year, based on snowpack on nearby mountains, conservation officers say.

Vince said a conservation officer would be in the Tuchodi Lake area this weekend, where the video is believed to have been filmed. Two additional conservation officers have been assigned to the file, adding to Fort St. John's complement of four.

Vince said both the Moose Rider and the men on the jet boat could be charged under the Criminal Code for harassing wildlife. He said prolonging the already costly investigation would only dig them deeper.

"Man up, is what I expect them to do," he said. "You had your laugh, you had your joke, now it's time to man up. I hope they do."             

reporter@dcdn.ca