Devin Mitsuing got out of his vehicle shirtless and started shouting at a grizzly bear while in a “boxing stance” before charging at it, accordant to a witness.
Caught on tape by a pair of nearby photographers, who were snapping images of the lone ambling grizzly on Highway 93 and promptly called RCMP. Mitsuing was later located by a Park Warden and charged for disturbing wildlife in a national park, under the National Parks Act. In court, the case finally came to trial Wednesday (Sept. 18) morning with Judge George Gaschler determining the Saskatchewan man guilty and levying a $4,000 fine. “It is abundantly clear this is a disturbance of a grizzly bear and I find [Mr. Mitsuing] guilty,” said Judge Gaschler. Thomas Murray O’Neill, British Columbia photographer, explained: “We were on the other side of the highway when a truck pulled up and two gentlemen got out, started yelling at the bear and throwing rocks … then he took off his shirt and got in a boxing stance.”
It was ruled Mitsuing has until Oct. 16 to pay the fine, or go to jail for 33 days. “I think the judge said it best, when an individual creates this kind of dangerous situation with a bear, when they charge at him, when they throw rocks at him when they cause him to run into the bush, you are going to create an aggressive animal that obviously has the ability to do a lot of harm to humans and the public in general,” Federal Crown prosecutor Jeremy Newton said after the trial. “Mr. Mitsuing wasn’t just putting himself in danger, he putting every other person who comes across this bear in danger in the future, so a large fine is a strong message to other individuals who, for whatever reason, would think to engage in this kind of behavior you would hope they wouldn’t but it should be even more obvious now.”
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