A young cow moose has been living and thriving in the green space between Westridge Road and Country Club Boulevard in Williams Lake for about two weeks.
Sgt. Jeff Tyre of the Conservation Officer Service Cariboo Chilcotin said the moose is about two and a half to three years old and was probably kicked out by its mom recently.
“It’s old enough to live on its own easily,” Tyre said.
The COS received a call on the RAPP line Tuesday about the moose, and on Wednesday morning CO Const. Ron Leblanc put signs up around the area and at Chilcotin Road Elementary School alerting the public about the immature moose.
Children and a bus driver also witnessed the moose along Woodland Drive last week.
Tyre said the caller to the RAPP line was concerned the moose was in rough shape and was worried it would be a danger to the public, however, when Tyre saw it for himself he determined it was in “pretty good condition for this time of year.”
It does have some ticks and has been rubbing both of its front shoulders and neck to try and dislodge them, which can give a moose’s coat a haggard or dishevelled appearance, he explained.
“I watched her for sometime. She is eating and doing everything she should be doing. I think people can co-exist with her.”
Once the moose runs out of food or becomes uncomfortable with the amount of noise and human activity in the area, Tyre hopes she will just move out on her own.
“Right now it really does not want to leave because there is a good supply of new tree shoots and shrubs in there, and a fresh water supply — everything she wants. There are also no big predators such as wolves and cougars right now so she’s enjoying life.”
Tyre stressed it is important not to try and feed the moose because it will not benefit it in the long-term and may result in injury to the moose or the public.
“Do not attempt to haze the moose as this may also result in injury,” Tyre said. “Banging on a tree with a rock or stick can be effective at moving the moose away but do not throw objects at the moose.”
Encouraging members of the public using the trails to be vigilant and keep dogs leashed or at heel, Tyre also said people should make as much noise as possible.
Children should be supervised or in groups, he said, suggesting the larger the group the better.
If a moose is encountered, it is ideal to keep at least 25 meters away and slowly back off giving the moose lots of room.
Moose are very fast on open terrain but cannot maneuver in tight spaces.
If a moose charges, it is best to shield yourself behind a tree and then leave the area as quickly as possible.
Any interactions beyond sightings between the moose and the public should immediately be brought to the attention of the Conservation Officer Service via the RAPP Line – 1-877-952-7277, Tyre said.
Tyre has seen other moose on his patrols this season and said several ranchers have commented on seeing them as well.
“They are out and about now that the snow has melted, doing what they should be doing.”