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Fish and Game biologists capture, treat sick moose in Hailey

Officials had been receiving reports of a cow moose with a severe eye infection for weeks, and were finally able to tranquilize and help her.
Credit: IDFG
Fish and Game officers capture, treat sick moose in Hailey

HAILEY, Idaho — A cow moose is on the mend after she was tranquilized and treated for an eye infection in Hailey last week.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says they had gotten multiple reports from Hailey residents about a sick moose accompanied by a calf. On Wednesday, a caller reported that the cow and calf were in their yard, allowing Fish and Game officials to quickly respond to try and help the animal. 

The biologists, accompanied by two deputies with the Blaine County Sheriff's office, were able to shoot the mother moose with a tranquilizer dart before giving her anesthesia and antibiotics. The moose was suffering from a severe eye condition, believed to be conjunctivitis, officials say.

The biologists also collected samples and placed a radio collar on the cow moose in order to monitor her location over the coming months.

Credit: IDFG
A cow moose is fitted with a radio collar after receiving treatment in Hailey.

Fish and Game says the decision to treat the moose was made in part due to the fact that moose populations are struggling in Idaho. The samples collected may provide important information that could help keep moose herds at healthy levels, officials said. 

The samples collected will be sent to the Fish and Game Wildlife Health Lab in Eagle for analysis.

The public is asked to keep their distance from all moose and other wild animals. Because her eyesight is likely diminished, the cow moose treated by Fish and Game in particular could become aggressive if she senses someone getting too close.

To report moose suffering from severe health conditions, call the Fish and Game Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.