Moose is loose

Moose is loose

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Yearling moose are often found in search for new territory during the summer months. When moose wander the potential for public safety issues arise

In Idaho, as spring turns to summer moose, especially yearling animals begin to wander in search of new territory that will provide them with luscious food sources and cool water.

As moose, the chances of having a chance encounter with a moose are possible. In these situations, moose can often find themselves surrounded by roadways, vehicles and homes. These situations can create uncertainty and stress for both the moose, people and their pets. 

Moose are very large solitary animals. An adult bull or cow can be the size of a horse. With their long legs and big bodies, they can move with deceptive speed, which can present safety issues for a person or their unleashed pet when surprise encounters happen.

Most moose will move safely across the landscape and avoid people if left alone. However, a moose too close to populated areas or trying to cross interstates or highways can become a serious public safety issue because of their unpredictable behavior if they become stressed and feel threatened. Moose, with their dark hair, can also be hard to see, which increases the risk of a collision with fast moving vehicles if they are too close or on highways. 

Most observations of moose on the move come during the early morning or evening hours since moose will feed during these times, and then they will search out cool areas to bed down during the heat of the day. 

If a moose is encountered within city limits, near residential areas, or close to roadways the public is strongly encouraged to contact your local Idaho Fish and Game office or your local law enforcement agency.

If a moose becomes a public safety hazard, Idaho Fish and Game biologists will often attempt to dart and anesthetize the moose so it can be relocated to a more suitable habitat. Efforts to relocate moose are challenging and can pose significant risks to the animal, Fish and Game staff, bystanders, and passing motorists.

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