Roxii, the beloved Pinebrook moose, has died
She was a fixture of the community for at least 15 years
Roxii, a beloved moose who has roamed around the Pinebrook, Summit Park and Jeremy Ranch neighborhoods for at least 15 years and became a fixture of the community, died over the weekend.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies made the difficult decision to euthanize Roxii after receiving numerous calls about an injured moose walking around lower Pinebrook and consulting with officials from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
“We said goodbye to a beautiful creature who was a treasured fixture in our community,” Sheriff Frank Smith said in a statement. “Roxii was not only a symbol of the majestic wildlife of our community, but also a testament to the human compassion and kindness that is abundant in our county. Roxii raised countless calves among us and provided lessons in nature … She was a protected and loved member of the neighborhood and many went to great lengths to ensure she was safe and given the respect she deserved.”
Roxii sustained mortal injuries to her back legs that prevented her from standing, according to Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Skyler Talbot. She was also very skinny and underweight for her age, and officials speculated her ability to eat had greatly diminished.
It is unclear what caused the injuries. A Pinebrook resident on Sept. 11 wrote in a NextDoor post the moose appeared to be in good condition and stocking up for winter, but said “her back legs don’t look great.”
DWR is usually responsible for responding to calls about injured wildlife, though the Sheriff’s Office assists several times a year. Faith Jolley, a spokesperson for DWR, said there were no conservation officers in the area as officials are patrolling ongoing hunts.
“It is not feasible to rehabilitate big game animals in Utah, due to disease concerns, low survival rates of wildlife that are acclimated to people, and a lack of resources. So when an animal is injured and becomes immobile, there aren’t other options besides humanely euthanizing the animal,” she said.
Law enforcement was notified about Roxii’s condition over the weekend. However, she was still able to walk at the time.
Roxii’s condition changed on Saturday afternoon. A homeowner reported the moose had not moved from the driveway for an entire day. Roxii made no effort to stand or move when deputies arrived. They noticed significant injuries to both hind legs, according to Talbot. DWR said at least one back leg was broken.
Wildlife officials told deputies to use an amplified loudspeaker to startle Roxii and encourage her to stand. The tactic did not work. Talbot said their observations and consultations with DWR led supervisors to make the decision to euthanize the moose. The Sheriff’s Office cannot tranquilize wildlife.
“It was a painful and heartbreaking decision to end Roxii’s suffering,” Smith said. “Oftentimes, it is best to let nature take its course, but in the case of Roxii, it was in the best interests of Roxii and our residents, to humanely bring her life to a close.”
The sheriff praised the deputy who had to make the fatal shot as courageous. The patrol deputy has been with the Sheriff’s Office for two years and has a lifetime of experience working on a ranch. The individual was well-trained on the safest, and most humane method of euthanization, Talbot said.
Moose symbolize endurance, strength and survival — and that’s what community members hope Roxii’s legacy will continue to be.
Some residents speculated that Roxii was 18 or 19 years old. The average life expectancy for a moose is 15 to 25 years. She has also produced numerous calves over the years with most cows birthing one or two each May.
“I would say 90% of the moose in Pinebrook are her offspring,” Nissa Alloy told The Park Record. Roxii had wintered at her home for the past 17 years. “Getting to witness her bring her new babies in the spring, to come together with a group of neighbors and watch her from well-being in her old age was a blessing, but sadly we couldn’t stop what happened.”
DWR captured Roxii around three years ago to give her medical treatment. Officials planned to relocate her, but an effort from Alloy and other community members kept Roxii in Pinebrook. Alloy was devastated to hear Roxii was shot, and said she didn’t understand why it had to be that way.
“Our lives are forever changed to have participated in hers. She will always be missed,” Alloy said.
Roxii’s death won’t be in vain. A local family in need of food assistance retrieved the moose and will be able to harvest the meat.
“This family will benefit greatly from the sacrifice of this animal,” Talbot said.
Community members who see an animal in danger or near the road are encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 435-615-3601. Dial 911 in case of emergencies.
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