It was certainly a Thanksgiving Day out of the ordinary for residents in the Fallingbrook neighbourhood of Orleans, as yet another wayward moose made its way through the backstreets.
This time, however, the City reacted swiftly and contrary to some news reports, Ottawa’s new wildlife response team was on the scene quickly.
According to one of the City’s wildlife officers, it was evident from the onset that the 2.5 year old bull moose was already in serious trouble:
“It was apparent that something was seriously wrong with the animal. It was heaving noticeably and its back legs were in constant motion indicating abdominal pain.”
Upon arrival, the wildlife response team noted that the bull appeared wet as if it had been swimming, although they believe it to be perspiration caused from over-exertion and stress.
According to the City’s lead wildlife officer – who asked not to be named due to contract restrictions – the Orleans moose situation was handled well and police who were first on the scene did everything correctly, unfortunately, the story did not have a happy ending.
The wildlife officers had hoped that, since the animal was resting in a sheltered shady spot, it might recover. That, however, was not to be the case.
“The moose stood up once in the next hour; turned 180 degrees and lay down again facing away. It expired approximately half an hour later.”
Although wildlife officers extensively trained in the use of tranquilizers were at the ready – none were used in the situation because of the animal’s obvious distress and because it posed no immediate danger to the public.
There is, however, some evidence to show the young bull may have been pursued by helicopter prior to its arrival in Orleans. The City’s lead wildlife officer wants residents to know they should never, under any circumstance, chase wildlife and he urges the public not to harass game animals within City limits.
It is unknown at this time if the moose was, in fact, being pursued by helicopter and whether that played any part in its death. It is clear that such an act would certainly exacerbate the situation; with an already stressed and confused animal.
If you should spot any wayward wildlife within City limits, please call the City of Ottawa immediately so that the experts may be dispatched. Dial 3-1-1 or (613) 580-2400