A New Hampshire couple is under investigation after posting their dangerous encounter with a moose last week to social media.
UPDATE: According to WMTW, the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office is considering whether or not to file criminal charges against the couple for instigating the attack. Harassing wildlife in Maine is against the law. From WMTW,
Cpl. John MacDonald said the case has been turned over to the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to file criminal charges.
“The videos appearance on social media caused quite a stir, and we naturally investigate an incident like that,” said MacDonald.
“There is some concern about what took place,” between the couple and the moose, he added.
MacDonald said investigators need to confirm that the confrontation actually occurred in Maine and “how much (of the incident) was moose behavior and how much was human interaction.”
Bob and Janis Powell were snowmobiling near Jackson, Maine when a young bull moose stopped and charged them. The Powell’s posted video of the attack to YouTube last Friday. The footage has since gone viral and raised several questions among viewers as to whether or not the Powells provoked the charge.
The couple followed the moose for at least 20 seconds before it stopped in the trail. The moose charged Bob on his snowmobile and nearly kicked him in the back of the head.
In an attempt to scare the moose away, Janice fired a warning shot from her sidearm, which eventually scared the moose away.
Here’s the footage.
The Powells are being criticised for chasing the moose down the trail. They maintain that they did not provoke the encounter.
“We were not following it too close and were actually slowing down,” Bob wrote on his YouTube page. “Moose are not afraid of snowmobiles and don’t act like this when we see them on the trail. We have never seen one be this aggressive and we see them all the time in this area. It left blood splatter and ticks all over the trail and we reported it to the Maine Warden Service.”
Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service told WMTV that wardens would not have known about the encounter had the video not been posted online last Friday.
“The videos appearance on social media caused quite a stir, and we naturally investigate an incident like that,” MacDonald said. “There is some concern about what took place.”
If convicted, the couple could face a $1,000 fine and some jail time. Although, the Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said jail time would not be appropriate.
We reported on a similar story back in February that involved a snowmobiler who shot and killed a moose that charged him.
Moose are very aggressive when they feel threatened. As you can see in the video, it’s important to keep your distance from them in the wild.
Do you think the Powells provoked the charge? Share your thoughts in the comments section.