In 2015, 35-year-old Devin Mitsuing came out of his truck shirtless and yelled at a grizzly bear in a “boxing stance” in Banff National Park, writes Jenna Dulewich of RMO Today, a Canadian news and information platform. He even threw rocks at the mammal, adds Cameron Frew of British media website Unilad. The man then charged at the young grizzly, startling the bear to run into a bush, according to an eyewitness.
|35-year-old Devin Mitsuing / Photo by: O'Neill Photo via RMotoday|
The incident was captured by photographers, who were taking pictures of the grizzly bear on Highway 93. They contacted RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and Mitsuing was later found in Radium, B.C. by RCMP and a park warden. He was charged for disturbing wildlife in a national park under the National Parks Art. On September 13, the case finally came into trial in the Canmore Provincial Courthouse “after two previous missed court dates” with Judge George Gaschier imposing a $4,000 to the Mitsuing, who was found guilty of committing the crime. Mitsuing was absent from the morning trial, as he needed to “grab some food,” though he returned shortly and handed himself to authorities.
Two witnesses were summoned to the stand. British Columbia photographer Thomas Murray O’Neil 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.” O’Neill called the RCMP as he believed Mitsuing to be drunk during the incident.
|A grizzly bear / Photo by: Pixabay via Unilad|
Park warden Paul Friesen informed the court he was working in Kootenay National Park when he received a call about “a man harassing a grizzly bear in Banff National Park.” Friesen found that the truck’s license plate had already been impounded by RCMP officers “with reports of a disturbance.” He found Mitsuing and his friends too inebriated to drive, impounding the vehicle and dropping them off at a hotel.
Friesen recorded Mitsuing’s side of the story in the hotel — which was played in court— saying that he was just trying to take a photo of the animal, which he mistook as a brown bear. Grizzlies are a protected species and he was lucky to be unharmed, Federal prosecutor Jeremy Newton reminded. Mitsuing has until October 16 this year to pay the fine or else he will be in jail for 33 days.
|An actual fight / Photo by: K. Bolin Photo via RMotoday|