A Calgary couple who make use of Elections Calgary’s in-house ballot process were briefly delayed from voting in the municipal election Monday morning because of an unusual visitor in the area.
FULL COVERAGE: 2017 Calgary election
“We get a phone call from them this morning that, ‘We can’t get in because the parking lot is closed off due to a moose,’” said Tom Shirlaw, who had a skin graft on his foot on Friday that prevents him from walking.
“I thought, ‘Yeah this has gotta be crazy.’
“Sure enough, I came downstairs, and the moose is wandering around by the handicapped parking in here over to the next tree and just grazing away comfortably like it was an everyday thing… it was just lying under a tree, content and happy as a bird.”
A spokesperson for Alberta Justice said a Fish and Wildlife officer who went to the scene said no threatening behaviour was observed.
“The moose has a slight limp, but officers believe this is from an older injury,” Brendan Cox said in an email to Global News. “The moose is able to move and put weight on the leg.”
Officers had immobilized the moose as of 6 p.m. Cox said it would be released “shortly.”
“While this moose has not been aggressive, if you see a moose, you are always encouraged to back away slowly and to make your way into a building,” Cox said. “Look for obstructions to put between yourself and the moose.”
Any concerning behaviour from a moose can be reported to the Report A Poacher Hotline at 1-800-642-3800.
Shirlaw said he’s seen coyotes, skunks and raccoons in the Dover Point S.E. area where he lives, but never a moose.
“I was sorta hoping the police were gonna put it down—I might get some moose steaks for supper! But that’s not going to happen.”
Shirlaw said about 45 minutes later, Elections Calgary staff returned and he and his wife, who is recovering from knee surgery, were able to vote.
“I spent years in the military and even overseas, you could cast your ballot… never stopped by a moose.”
Calgary police said they received three calls reporting the moose, starting at 9:30 a.m., for the Dover Glen Crescent S.E. and 26 Street S.E. areas.