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Moose spotted in Eagle tranquilized Thursday morning

The young bull moose was seen Wednesday during the busy late-afternoon rush hour.

EAGLE, Idaho — A young bull moose was located Wednesday evening in Eagle -- not in the foothills, but in the middle of town. The Ada County Sheriff's Office said Thursday morning that the moose has been safely captured, tranquilized and moved to an area near Smiths Ferry.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says at around 5:30 p.m., IDFG enforcement staff located the moose in the area of Ballantyne Lane and Floating Feather Road and Highway 44/State Street. They located the moose shortly after people starting calling in with reports to Idaho Fish and Game's Southwest Region office.

Responding officers from other agencies observed the moose, looking to keep it away from the highway, until about 6 p.m. They lost sight when the moose made its way to a nearby cornfield, according to a news release from IDFG.

“At that point, the peak traffic period was over, and the animal was in as good a place as it could be under the circumstances," Regional Wildlife Manager Ryan Walrath said.

Fish and Game staff remained in the area until about 7 p.m. Wednesday, then returned early Thursday morning with the resources "necessary to chemically immobilize and relocate the moose." IDFG also said staff "moved the moose to a more suitable area near Smiths Ferry."

A spokesman for the Ada County Sheriff's Office said Thursday morning that the moose was tranquilized in the front yard of a home near Cobblestone and State streets.

"Eagle Police kept a close eye on the beast this morning as it strolled in the Cobblestone Way/State Street neighborhood just west of downtown to try to keep him off the street and out of traffic," Eagle Police said in a Facebook post Thursday morning.

The moose, Eagle Police said, is about 6 feet tall and 600 to 700 pounds, and "pretty much kept to himself and majestically strolled through the neighborhood and munched on leaves until Fish and Game arrived."

Idaho Fish and Game handles occurrences of moose in town on a case-by-case basis, but it is preferable for a moose to move out of town or another problem area on its own, according to an IDFG news release, which also said the use of immobilization drugs in the darting and relocation of an animal carries its own risks even in a controlled environment.

Credit: Idaho Department of Fish and Game/Brian Pearson
Fish and Game staff work on a moose that was darted and relocated from an Eagle neighborhood on Aug. 4, 2022.

IDFG says it's important for drivers and people living in the area to be aware and do their part to help avoid any conflict with wildlife.

Moose are typically rare in the Treasure Valley, but the moose spotted Wednesday in Eagle is the second moose to make its way into a populated area of Ada County within the past month. A yearling cow moose spotted in Hidden Springs was relocated on July 20.

Moose can become aggressive and unpredictable when surprised or cornered. If a moose perceives a threat, it could charge and attempt to stomp on that perceived threat.

  • Keep a respectful distance from the moose of at least 50 yards or more.
  • The presence of a dog can be especially alarming to a moose, so keep dogs leashed and far away from the moose.
  • Drivers should use caution during the early-morning commute. Moose are most active at sunrise and sunset, particularly during the summer.

Idaho Fish and Game continues to monitor the situation with the moose in Eagle, and report sightings of the animal, including the location, to the IDFG regional office in Nampa at 208-465-8465 during normal business hours. After hours, call the non-emergency number for Ada County Dispatch at 208-377-6790.

Eagle has had it’s share of four-legged traffic disruptors lately, but all is well after Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG)...

Posted by Eagle Police on Thursday, August 4, 2022

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