The Conservation Officer Service will be continuing to monitor the health and behavior of an immature moose that has set up home in Williams Lake.
Sgt. Jeff Tyre says that the young female moose has been living in the green space between Westridge Road and Country Club Boulevard for about two weeks with little interaction with the public.
“It is capable of living on its’ own,” Tyre said.
“It does have some ticks on it at this time which isn’t uncommon this time of year. It’s trying to rub those ticks off so it’s rubbing on trees and it is taking the hair off those areas around the front shoulders and in the neck. So it looks rather haggard and disheveled at this time, but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. It’s in very good shape and its’ got ample food and water supply. Right now it feels very safe in there.”
Officers according to Tyre tried to move the moose along its way Tuesday night through hazing, but because it is very reluctant to leave they have decided to leave it there for the time being.
“We have discussed that with the fish and wildlife biologist in Williams Lake,” says Tyre of the option of tranquilizing the moose and relocating it.
“But there is what’s called capture miopsy where ungulates, in particular, don’t react well to being captured; they get stressed, and they don’t react well to the drugs so the moose could die during that process. Right now being with the temperatures-it’s quite warm, if we start pressuring to capture it will get stressed and get that adrenaline up.”
“We have difficulty getting a vehicle in there as well so we want that moose to keep its distance. That option is there if it becomes defensive or puts the chase on to people or dogs.”
The public is advised to:
- when travelling the trails within the area to be vigilant, have children supervised, and keep dogs leashed or at heel
- make as much noise as possible when walking
- if the moose is encountered keep at least 25 meters between yourself and the moose, slowly back away, and give the moose ample space
- do not feed the moose. “This will not benefit the moose in the long term and may result in injury to the moose or the public,” says Tyre.
- do not attempt to haze the moose. “This may also result in injury to the moose or the public,” notes Tyre.
- if charged leave the trail into the timber and put trees between yourself and the moose while quickly leaving the area. “Moose are very fast on open terrain, but cannot maneuver in tight spaces,” says Tyre.
Any interaction with the moose beyond a sighting can be reported to the RAPP line toll-free at 1-877-952-7277.