Combative moose tranquilized, moved
Ryan Summerlin March 22, 2013
A moose was tranquilized and relocated to Diamond Fork Canyon in the Spanish Fork area following a confrontation with a dog and jogger on Thursday, March 14 on East Sawmill Ave.
"It’s not something we enjoy doing. It’s kind of sad. But for public safety we’ll move it," said Scott Root, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) conservation outreach manager.
According to the Sheriff’s Report, the moose kicked a dog and then acted aggressive toward a jogger.
"A lot of towns in Utah are right in the middle of deer and moose habitat," he said. "What some people don’t realize is that Park City is close to the Southern edge of moose range in the United States. Once you start getting past Utah and Sanpete counties, there’s only a few moose that I’ve seen. But for some reason, Park City, Parley’s Canyon and Summit County in general do pretty well for moose populations."
While Park City is in the heart of moose habitat, moose in town can be problematic, Root said.
"If you see them in your backyard or up on the mountain range, that’s one thing, but when moose are in town, we’re here to help," he said. "If they have calves, they can be especially problematic. And the calving season is soon upon us, so we might start seeing cows with calves, and cows are more aggressive when they have a calf."
Moose may not look aggressive, he added.
"But they can be on top of you fast. They look so slow and lethargic, and then all of a sudden they may feel threatened and charge you. More people get hurt by moose than bears, is what I always hear," he added.
While some Summit County residents love moose, others are worried about safety, Root said.
"A moose is big and black, and if it’s sitting on the road at night in the middle of blackness, that’s a problem," he said. "So we definitely want to educate people about driving carefully and slowly around the Park City area."
The DWR arrived on scene Thursday and tranquilized the moose.
"After a couple minutes of being tranquilized, a moose will get wobbly and start to fall down, then we’ll get a big tarp and grab some help," he said. "You get about six to eight people on the tarp, lift it up and put it into a horse trailer. Then you get everyone out of there and get the moose off the tarp."
The moose is then given a drug to reverse the effects of the tranquilizer.
"It’s amazing how fast the reversal works," Root said. "The moose pop right up on its feet. We then close the door and we’ll water it down if it’s a warm day, and give it some water. And then we drive off and go."
Root said the DWR has areas appropriate for moose habitat where they take them if needed.
"They have plenty of water, marshy areas and everything they like," he said.
Root said to call his DWR office at 801-491-5678 if a moose is seen causing problems in town.
"We don’t want calls on every moose," he said. "If you see a moose, you are lucky. But if it’s causing problems being aggressive or sitting on the road and you can’t get rid of it, give us a call."