A moose spotted on a stroll through Silver Star Elementary’s schoolyard drew some unwanted attention this week.
The cow (female) was spotted after school was out and the students had gone home Tuesday, Jan 19. Another moose, believed to be a calf, was also seen at the Mutrie dog park and in the BX area.
Two people reported they were chased by the cow, therefore the Conservation Officer Service and dog control were called in to keep an eye on the towering animals.
“The problem is people are bugging it,” conservation officer Micah Kneller said.
Those wanting to get a picture, or see the wild animal, cause her stress.
“Cow moose in particular, especially with calves, they can be aggressive, they can be dangerous.”
Therefore the public is urged to steer clear if they see a moose, especially if they are out walking their dogs, which he pleads owners to keep on a leash.
“Dogs agitate deer, and moose are about five times bigger than a deer; dogs are going to agitate moose,” Kneller said.
The reason moose are being seen in the residential areas is snowfall and predators push the animals down where the snow isn’t too deep, according to the conservation service.
But if there is a problem, the COs are forced to deal with it.
Their three options are to leave it and hope that it will move off on its own (the preferred method), tranquilize and move it but that can be very stressful for the animal and result in death, or the least preferred method: “Or we have to put them down because people can’t help themselves,” Kneller said.
He suspects the moose have since gone back to the forest, but they could come back and he urges the public to give them their space.