Moose-human encounters often bad news for moose
Heavy snow in northwestern Alberta is encouraging moose to choose the path of least resistance, often to their detriment.
The large mammals are choosing to browse in Grande Prairie's park system and neighbourhoods rather than navigate deeper snow in the woods.
"Would you rather walk in three feet of deep snow in the bush or walk on a plowed road or trail?" said wildlife officer Mike Trepanier.
Over the Christmas holidays Trepanier's office received numerous calls about the animals, culminating with a call on New Year's Eve day about an aggressive 900-lb bull moose.
The belligerent moose chased pedestrians and charged wildlife officers who spent much of the day 'hazing' the moose, encouraging it to leave the city.
Eventually the moose ended up in Ward Redwood's back yard.
"I was in the kitchen and heard something thump on the side of the house," Redwood said.
"I could see in the reflection of my TV and there was this big black mass standing there."
Trepanier wasn't far behind.
After assessing the situation he decided that tranquilizing the large animal wasn't an option.
"The problem with that particular bull moose was he was about 900 pounds and it requires a large amount of drug," Trepanier said. "It would have required us to dart him at least twice."
"They can run for a while and then you have to get yourself into another position to get that second dart in him."
Trepanier climbed into a two-storey playhouse and brought the moose down with two slugs from a shotgun.
However some good came out of the day-long chase as the carcass was taken to a butcher who prepared the meat for needy Grande Prairie residents.
With files from CBC's James Hees
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