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Moose relocated to South Pass after visit to downtown Lander
Jun 20, 2014 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer
Some residents in Lander had a little excitement June 13 when a moose was spotted in the downtown area.
Large carnivore conflict coordinator Brian Debolt, of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said the young moose was spotted early in the morning by North Park.
The department kept tabs on the moose to see if it would go back into the mountains, but after a couple of hours, they decided to step in before the moose or someone got hurt when it was in the 800 block of Lincoln Street.
"People started following her and even had her out on Main (Street) at one point," Debolt said, noting it wasn't safe.
Because of this, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department decided to dart the moose to get her into a safe area.
Officials darted her while she was in the yard of a residence on Lincoln Street. From there, members of the department got her on a blanket and safely carried her into a horse trailer.
The department then gave the moose a reversal shot and waited to make sure she would wake up safely before taking her back up into the mountains.
The time from when she was darted to the time she woke up and stood in the trailer was about 20 minutes.
"We want to make sure she is awake and safe," Debolt said before the department left the scene. "Once she is standing, they usually ride pretty well in the trailer."
Being in the downtown area is especially dangerous for moose because of the danger posed by fences, cars and dogs. Debolt said moose can be aggressive toward people if they feel cornered.
Although this moose did not get aggressive, he did say she started to get scared just before she was darted.
He described the moose as a young yearling, born about this time last year. He guessed the young moose came into the downtown area for its green grass and lack of "bigger critters."
Having a moose in downtown Lander is not unusual. Debolt said this scene tends to happen about once a year.
"About this same time last year, there was a moose behind the museum," Debolt said.
If someone sees a moose or other animals that are not typically suppose to be in the downtown area, they are encouraged to call the Wyoming Game and Fish Department immediately.
"The sooner we can get there, the better it is for everyone and the animal," Debolt said.
The moose is in "good condition" after it was relocated to South Pass on June 13.
"She was in very good condition and likely was just weaned from her mother," the department reported.
Stan Harter, the south Lander wildlife biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said the moose was taken to an area near South Pass considered to be excellent moose habitat with aspen and willow next to a prominent stream.
"We felt it was in the moose's best interest to relocate her out of Lander and into a more suitable environment with less risk form traffic and other hazards," Harter said in a release.