Moose family captured in Park Meadows, taken away from Park City
March 25, 2011
State wildlife officials late on Thursday morning captured a moose family in Park Meadows, shooting the animals with darts that injected immobilizing medication before carrying them to a waiting trailer and then transporting them out of the city.
The scene unfolded in yards just off Mountain Top Drive, a little-traveled street on the edge of the neighborhood. Once hit with the darts, the moose went to the ground and did not move.
The approximately eight wildlife officers and biologists carried the animals to the trailer on what appeared to be large canvas or plastic sheets specially made for transporting animals. The moose could be heard shifting about inside the tight quarters of the trailer once they were loaded. At least one of them had its head raised before it was loaded into the trailer, an indication that the medication had started to wear off before they were transported out of Park City.
Craig Clyde, a state Division of Wildlife Resources officer assigned to the region that includes Park City, was among those who responded, saying the moose would be taken to the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork Canyon and released into the wild.
Clyde said wildlife officials on Wednesday fielded a complaint that an injured moose had become aggressive in the neighborhood. The crew from the Division of Wildlife Resources investigated on Thursday, finding the injured moose and the two others in a yard.
He said the injured moose is a cow and the other two are its calves. The younger ones appeared to be nine months old, Clyde said. He said the wildlife officials captured all three to keep the family intact. Another moose was seen nearby but was left in the neighborhood because it did not appear to be in the same family, Clyde said.
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The cow moose was found to have a hurt foot, turning the animal aggressive, Clyde said. It was given antibiotics to treat the injury, he said.
Clyde said wildlife officials typically move a few moose out of the Park City area annually. If the population of moose becomes too big in an area, Clyde said, the animals endanger each other by competing for food and space to socialize.
Moose are plentiful in the Park City area, with sightings reported regularly for years. The Park City Police Department as recently as mid-March received three reports of sightings on the same day. The reports that day were filed by people on Samuel Colt Court, Kearns Boulevard and Holiday Ranch Loop Road.
Linda Karz, who lives on Mountain Top Drive and has lived in Park City for nearly 30 years, watched the wildlife officials capture the moose on Thursday, saying she enjoys living in a neighborhood where animals are frequently spotted.
Karz said she has seen the moose family nearly every day since early in the winter. The moose would bed down outside her house, she said.
"We feel very fortunate to share the landscape with them," Karz said.