Calgary gets its fair share of wildlife sightings but it’s always unusual seeing a moose strutting down a residential neighborhood.
On Wednesday, a moose calf was doing just that. The Instagram account, @lubel80 says the animal was hanging out in her northwest neighborhood, Tuscany while it snacked on some leaves.
Holly Lillie, executive director at the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, which takes in injured and orphaned wildlife, told CBC News that people should give moose a very wide berth.
Lillie said the institute gets calls about baby moose in the spring, when the moose are born, and in the fall, which is rutting season.
“So Moose, they’re not normally aggressive, but they can become defensive when they come into contact with humans, dogs or traffic, especially if they’re stressed in a new area,” she said.
Lillie said moose are herbivores and not likely to attack or to chase a human, but they can be very protective or their young.
“Most importantly, when they have young, when they have calves, we would encourage people to give moose an extremely wide berth,” she said, adding that anyone who comes across a moose should leave the area as soon as possible.
“They’re not domesticated. They don’t want to spend time around us. And it’s just best to really give them as much room as possible to move out of the area and to move along,” Lillie said. “If you do have your dog or dogs with you, we would just ask … to put the dog on leash to leave the area, please don’t let your dog or dogs chase. The moose is going to aggravate the situation more.”
Lillie said it’s important as we head into “wildlife baby season” to be careful while out walking.
“So cow moose, which are females, they are especially protective of the young,” she said.
“If you see a cow with calves, we would just ask again that you leave the area if you see a baby on their own, so a calf on their own, just be mindful that the mom is probably still around somewhere nearby and you do not want to get in between a mom and her calf.”
There will be signs that they are going to get aggressive — ears laid back, hair bristling and they may lick their lips.
“But if you can see some of those signs, especially in the limbs and things like that, then you are really too close to vacate the area right away,” Lillie said. “It is OK to run away from a moose. … they are not going to be triggered by a predatory reaction of chasing and things like that. They’re not going to be instinctively triggered by you running away so you can run from them.”
Typically, Lillie said, they just want to put you out of the area and they will return to what they were doing.
If you do come across an injured animal, or have a concern with a persistent animal in your neighbourhood, you can call the institute’s hotline at 403-946-2361. For more information on baby wildlife in spring, visit Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation.
Have you ever spotted a moose in the city? Tell us where in the comments below!
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