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Wild moose chase, viral video result in fine

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Jan 07 2014 08:08:08 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 07 2014 09:00:54 PM MST
KALISPELL, Mont. -

There's over 3,000 acres of forest land across Whitefish Mountain Resort.

"Certainly we're a habitat for all sorts of creatures big and small," said Whitefish Mountain Spokesperson Riley Polumbus.

But last month on Whitefish Mountain, 21-year-old Charlie Rush and 16-year-old Hunter Lamoureux ran across a very large creature while out on the trails.

They posted a video of their encounter on Facebook, and it became a viral video on the web, being picked up by websites like Deadspin, Yahoo! Sports and CNN.

After the video went viral, Rush was issued a citation by the Flathead National Forest Service. Rush received a $225 fine for violating a code of Forest Service rules relating to molesting or harassing animals.

"It could disturb it and you could put yourself in danger," said Polumbus.

Polumbus says while there's no policy regarding the incident at the mountain, she says she doesn't recommend approaching large animals when seen out on the trails.

"I think it's just important to remind people that they can encounter wildlife because this is a national forest, so when you encounter wildlife you don't want to approach it, you never want to approach it," said Polumbus.

While many have been critical of the video in comments, in a Facebook post both Lamoureux and Rush said they don't believe they were harassing the moose.