Updated: Moose euthanized after Monday morning romp in Amherst

Christopher Gooding
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A calm walk through the garden turned into chaos when a bull moose turned on a two-man tranquilizer team dispatched by the Dept. of Natural Resources. An officer with the Amherst Police Dept. opened fire at the charging bull, which trampled one of the DNR members, and employed a Taser before the bull was subdued and removed from the community.

TC MEDIA - A moose that created some excitement in a residential area of Amherst early Monday had to be euthanized because of injuries to its leg.

Prior to the animal being immobilized a DNR biologist was consulted by the DNR officers on the scene. They provided the biologist with information on the injury to the animals leg. The biologist, in consultation with a wildlife biologist at the University of Prince Edward Island, determined the most humane outcome for the animal was to be euthanized, Amherst Police Chief Ian Naylor said Sept. 29. 

The remains of the moose have been sent to the university for a necropsy to determine if it was afflicted with the moose brain worm.

Officers received a call of an injured moose near Allison Avenue at approximately 5:30 a.m. Police said the animal was dragging its rear leg that appeared to be broken.

Officers from Natural Resources arrived at about 7 a.m. and helped monitor the moose until a tranquilizer team arrived at 10 a.m.

The animal, who had caught a clothesline and two pulleys on its hind leg, travelled through backyards before laying down on a property on East Victoria Street, near Rupert Street.

When DNR tried to move into a position to deploy a tranquilizer the animal stood up and began moving again. The first attempt to tranquilize the animal was unsuccessful and as the team approached the moose for a second attempt it charged toward them and trampled one of the DNR officers.

Naylor said a police officer fired his pistol once striking the animal and then used his Taser, but failed to stop the animal. The moose charged the police officer, who fired two more shots from his pistol, turning the animal away. The moose made its way toward Rupert Street where it stopped in the yard of a residence, where the DNR team was able to successfully deploy a tranquilizer.

The DNR officer who was knocked down, did sustain injuries and will be assessed by a  physician. The injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Witness reported seeing a moose in the Willow Street area of Amherst near the Rotary Park Sept. 29 as early as 5:30 a.m. By 7 a.m., two officers and provincial natural resources staff were observing the moose at the park when it moved beyond Agnew and maintained a presence in the backyards of a number of homes between Regent and Rupert Street. As it moved, it became evident the moose had caught a clothesline and two pulleys on its hind leg, creating lacerations that bled significantly. 

A DNR tranquilizer team was deployed from Shubenacadie, while a conservation officer and support members arrived on the scene. For a time, the moose was beside a home on the corner of Rupert and Victoria East, giving the tranquilizer team time to arrive and set up.

Meanwhile, a significant number of curious pedestrians arrived to watch. Police and natural resources officials had to ask passersby by snapping photos to stay a respectful distance away, so they didn’t spook the moose. Approaching vehicles on Victoria slowed to watch the commotion, parked along the curb and some drivers even tried to pull into the cordoned area, only to be turned away by authorities.

DNR biologist Shavonne Meyer, who was not on the ground during the Monday moose event, said moose encounters are uncommon in towns, but can happen in the fall due to the moose mating cycle, which will also make the males aggressive. “For the most part, a populated area is in between where they are and where they would like to go,” Meyer said. “And typically, its a bull that youre going to see.”

When a moose is in or near a populated area, people should report their sighting to DNR by calling 1-800-565-2224 and stay clear of the animal.

“If they see DNR on site, respect the boundaries they set and stay clear,” Meyer said. “Ideally we’d like the moose to get where they want to go, but the more people that show up the longer they will stay.”

Over the weekend,  a moose was captured by wildlife officials in a Pictou County business park.

Organizations: Amherst Police Department

Geographic location: Amherst, Willow Street, Rotary Park Rupert Street Shubenacadie Rupert Victoria East Regent Street

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