Man fined $4,500 for swimming with endangered snails in Banff National Park

A judge has fined a man $4,500 for taking a dip in a thermal pool in Banff National Park that is home to a type of endangered snail.

CANMORE — A judge has fined a man $4,500 for taking a dip in a thermal pool in Banff National Park that is home to a type of endangered snail.

Bailey Thomas Townsend pleaded guilty in a Canmore, Alta., court to entering a restricted area under the Canada National Parks Act and damaging critical habitat under the Species at Risk Act.

Townsend, who is 27, was arrested in November after he was caught bathing at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.

The site is the only place where the Banff springs snail is found.

The snail was designated as threatened in 1997 and, three years later, was redesignated as endangered.

It is considered the most at-risk species in Banff park.