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  • Hannah Scott-Talib

Maverick moose still on the loose

A clever moose is still on the loose in Wakefield after it recently eluded police and game wardens twice, who were trying to tranquilize and relocate the animal. MRC des Collines Police spokesperson Martin Fournel was able to confirm with the Low Down that the station had received a call about the moose on Saturday, July 29, and an officer was sent down to the site just past 11 a.m. to try and push the animal back towards the bush.

Fournel further confirmed that, later that day at around 2 p.m., the game warden arrived at the intersection and attempted to tranquilize the moose, but that attempt was “inconclusive.” After a similar moose-sighting call to the police station on Sunday, the warden was brought back to the site, but was unable to find the animal.

As a result, Fournel stated that the moose is likely still roaming the area. The moose was later spotted at Centre Vorlage in Wakefield on July 31.

Some users took to social media as early as over a week ago, claiming they’d seen the moose in that area. By July 29, the moose’s presence had become a focal talking point online.

Wakefield resident Storm Russell was one of these local witnesses. She took photos and posted about the animal's presence on social media last Saturday. She said she had seen the moose while driving home at around 7:20 p.m. that day.

“I noticed it just as I was reaching the end of Hwy 5,” said Russell. “So I pulled over and just watched it for about 30 minutes.”

She explained that, given its size, she had initially thought that the moose was pregnant. However, after speaking to other residents more knowledgeable, she was told that this was unlikely.

“They typically breed later in the fall and give birth in May or June, in the spring,” she said. Based on this information, she said that it wouldn’t make sense for the moose to be pregnant at this time of year.

Meanwhile, another local resident, Alex Wertwyn, stated that, while driving with his family, he had witnessed the police cruisers and conservation officer in the area earlier that same day.

“We were on our way to Lac Philippe and we’d seen a moose on the side of the highway; it was nice to see,” he said. He then added that, on his way home from the lake at around 3:30 p.m., they had noticed the flashing lights from several police cars in that same area. He also claimed to have noticed a conservation officer carrying a form of a weapon, which he said he believed might be a tranquilizer.

According to Russell, the sighting of this wild animal is far from a common occurrence in Wakefield.

“It’s quite rare; it’s only the second time that I’ve seen evidence of a moose in over a couple of decades [while] I’ve lived in this area,” she said.

In one of her posts about the animal, she encourages drivers to be wary of it and drive slowly along that segment of Hwy 5.

Residents in Chelsea spotted a moose near Larrimac on June 13. Sam Seymour told the Low Down that the moose ran into the forest behind his house and “lingered around” for a few weeks in the Southridge area. It was last spotted near Grand Boise school in Chelsea.

Moose safety

When it comes to close encounters with moose, residents should be wary of how to act. The National Capital Commission (NCC) recommends that citizens make their presence known when near these animals, all while being sure to give the animal space. Additionally, they suggest that if a dog is present, it should be attached by leash and led slowly away. Finally, the NCC states that citizens should not attempt to feed or get too close to juvenile moose or moose calf, as they can be aggressive.

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