TWIN FALLS, Idaho — An adult cow moose fell off a cliff and died Thursday during an attempted capture by Idaho Fish and Game officers.
The moose had been darted by officers and was under the influence of anesthetizing drugs to temporarily immobilize and relocate it - when the inebriated moose ran off a walking path and over a rocky cliff onto Canyon Springs Road where she died, according to Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG).
The moose had wandered into a busy area of Twin Falls, ending up near Costco, in the early morning hours of Sept. 14. IDFG said she was spotted in the Snake River Canyon one day earlier.
As early morning rush hour approached, IDFG officers from the Magic Valley Region, Twin Falls police and officers from the Twin Falls Sheriff's Office monitored the moose to prevent it from entering city streets and the Blue Lakes business district.
Due to it being dark outside, responding personnel had to wait until sunrise to properly dart the moose and administer the anesthetizing drugs, to then safely relocate it.
IDFG stated that it is not uncommon for anesthetized wildlife to react erratically.
"Often when we have a moose in an urban setting the stress level of the animal is very high as it tries to find a way out," said Mike McDonald, Regional Wildlife Manager in the Magic Valley Region. "Urban environments also present many challenges to our staff as we make every effort to safely dart wildlife while keeping the public safe. Unfortunately, there are times when even our best-efforts are not enough."
After being darted and before the anesthetizing drugs could take effect, the stressed moose ran down the walking path along the rim - where it then fell and died.
IDFG said that the meat of the moose could not be salvaged due to the type and dose of anesthetizing drugs used to immobilize it.
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