It was quite a sight for people in northwest Calgary on Monday: a female moose running the streets of the Varsity neighbourhood near Shaganappi Trail and Crowchild Trail.
In Cecilia Petersen’s 27 years of living in the area, she has never seen anything like it.
“We went outside around the back of the house and ran right into the moose in the back. I won’t tell you what I said,” she recalled with a laugh.
“I couldn’t believe it. It was just laying there. I’ve never seen anything that close to our place before.”
Alberta Fish and Wildlife officer Matt Michaud said they responded to a call from police at 10 a.m.
“After reviewing its location and proximity to green spaces, we determined that it was probably unlikely that this moose would be able to find its way back to a suitable green space for it to live in or to find its way out of the city,” he said.
Michaud said the moose made its way “pretty deep” into the subdivision.
“We expected that this moose likely would have been stuck in and amongst the streets, wandering around the yards and alleys, so we deemed that this one we were going to have to relocate,” he said.
Additional wildlife officers were called in for public safety. Michaud said they were able to immobilize the moose with a tranquillizer.
“We were able to successfully load it up into our mover with the help of some public and some other people who were nearby,” Michaud said.
Michaud said they try to tolerate wildlife as much as they can, especially if the animals don’t show aggressive or abnormal behaviour toward people.
“For the most part, as long as… they’re acting as expected, retreating when approached, they’re not charging people or causing any sort of property damage, then typically we do leave those because lots of people do enjoy just being able to see this size of wildlife in the city,” he said.
Wildlife officials planned on relocating the moose northwest of Calgary, near Cochrane, and then assessing her health.
They’re not sure where the animal came from.
Who knows? Maybe she was “trying to wander to the Stampede,” Michaud joked.