State wildlife officials tranquilized a family of moose in Old Town on Tuesday and relocated them out of Park City, a move that was made after a series of sightings of the family in recent weeks.
The Park City Police Department said in an online statement an adult moose and two young moose were seen at 9:46 a.m. outside the Park City Library and Education Center on the 1200 block of Park Avenue. The police said the Division of Wildlife Resources was summoned.
Bruce Johnson, a state wildlife officer assigned to Park City and surrounding Summit County, said the cow moose and calves had been seen on or close to Main Street and Park Avenue repeatedly for several days. He said the Division of Wildlife Resources decided it was best that the animals be moved.
"More food and less stress," Johnson said, comparing undeveloped mountainous areas to Old Town.
He said the division was contacted at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday about another sighting of the family. A crew of wildlife officers responded, tranquilized the animals and then moved them out of the Park City area. The police indicated the division anticipated releasing the moose in central Utah. Johnson said the moose were not harmed by the tranquilization.
Johnson said there was heightened concern as Labor Day weekend approached. He said there could have been problems since Park City is usually busy during the holiday weekend.
He said the time of year was also of note in the decision to move them. He said the moose will have time to acclimate to their new surroundings before winter.
"We're getting late into the summer and fall," he said. "Now's a good time to relocate these animals."
He said wildlife officials typically must tranquilize and relocate one or two moose per year from the Park City area.
Moose are plentiful in the Park City area, and sightings occur regularly. The Police Department in recent weeks has received a series of moose reports. The sightings continued in the last week, police logs showed.
At least two reports last week involved a moose family in Old Town, likely the one that was relocated on Tuesday. In one of the reports, a cow moose and two calves were seen in the road at the intersection of Norfolk Avenue and 10th Street on Aug. 22. In the other case, also reported to be a cow moose and two calves, the animals were seen on the 800 block of Norfolk Avenue the day before.
There had been at least six moose reports in August prior to the ones last week. It is unlikely the moose family that was captured accounted for each of the sightings.