A moose seen wandering along residential streets in southeast Calgary attracted a lot of attention on the holiday weekend.
The calls to police started around 1:30 p.m. Sunday from the Riverbend area as people noticed the moose making its way south through several districts bordering the Bow River valley.
And according to Sgt. Chris Martin, the situation was made more difficult by the crowds of people who wanted to get a glimpse of the wild animal, requiring a dozen officers to be sent out for crowd control.
“They’d climb fences, sneak around trees … through bushes. Whatever they could do to get that perfect photo,” he said.
All that activity around the animal spooked the moose, Martin said, causing it to jump people’s fences.
“In a couple cases it actually ran through fences,” he said.
Martin says if people simply give the animal space and let it move on, officers don’t usually need to be dispatched for wild animal calls.
“[But] once we start getting crowds of people trying to engage with the animal, then that’s when it becomes excited, it gets stressed and it starts causing more problems, that leads to more calls, then eventually we have to make the determination that now there’s a public safety issue,” he said.
The moose eventually settled in a safe spot between two homes in McKenzie Lake where Fish and Wildlife officers were able to tranquilize it and get it ready to be moved elsewhere.
“My wife was in the backyard and she saw the ears pop up over the fence, so she came out to see what it was. Fish and Wildlife told her to stay inside and keep quiet,” said resident Scott Frolick, who was inside his house.
Martin says once it was sedated, eight officers lifted the female moose into a truck and relocated it by about 5:30 p.m. to an undisclosed spot.
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