Canadian Man Could Face $125,000 in Fines After Harassing Cougar With Slingshot

Canadian man hit with rare charges in May incident involving a mountain lion.

Every time we think we have seen it all as far as bizarre headlines for 2020, a new one comes along to prove us wrong again. Authorities with Parks Canada have announced a 40-year-old Saskatchewan man is facing the potential of some seriously heavy penalties after he allegedly harassed a cougar with a slingshot in Banff National Park.

CBC News Canada reports that the incident happened on May 31 near Lake Louise, Alberta. In case you were wondering how someone could shoot a cougar with a slingshot without getting their face ripped off, the large predator was allegedly on the other side of a wildlife fence running along a highway.

Now the man is facing the potential of fines totaling $125,000. Why so high? Because under Canadian regulations, the slingshot is considered to a firearm. Thus, the first charge of $25,000 would be for disturbance of wildlife and the second, larger fine of $100,000, would be for possession of a loaded firearm in a National Park outside of a vehicle.

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An eyewitness to the incident allegedly captured photos that prosecutors will likely use in the case. The suspect will not appear in provincial court until November.

"Our position is that the evidence exists to establish those things (the offenses) beyond a reasonable doubt," Public Prosecution Service of Canada's Tyler Lord told the news organization.

Lord also told CBC that public interest in the case will likely be high because Banff is one of the most popular National Parks in Canada. Authorities arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of it being reported. It is uncertain if the cougar was hit by any of the suspect's unknown projectiles.

Authorities say the responding wardens had to help coax the animal back into the park since it was on the highway side of the fence when the incident occurred. The suspect was arrested shortly after that nearby.

We will keep an eye on this bizarre case and will bring you news if, and when there is a conviction here at Wide Open Spaces.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels