After brief dip in Ottawa pool, moose returns safely to nearby woods

A moose found its way into the backyard swimming pool of a south-end Ottawa home Friday morning. Diane Barbarie / NCC

An Ottawa homeowner got a surprise visit Friday morning after a moose took a dip in his backyard pool.

Paul Koch told Global News he didn’t catch any sight of the massive creature on his property when he first went downstairs for his morning workout, but he had to do a double take the next time he passed by his window.

“There, thrashing around in the deep end of the pool, was Mrs. Moose!” he says.

Koch and his wife were unsure of who to call, so dialled 9-1-1 and were directed to the police.

That wasn’t the first time the Ottawa police had heard about a moose on the loose that morning. Officers say the wandering moose was first reported disrupting traffic in the south end of Ottawa on Hunt Club Road before 7 a.m.

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The moose then found its way to the Kochs’ backyard on nearby Royal Hunt Court.

While the moose might have been searching for a place to cool off on a Friday morning, Koch thinks she might not have known she was stepping into a pool thanks to a solar blanket placed on top overnight.

The close encounter spurred a circus of activity for the pair who have lived in the south-end Ottawa neighbourhood for more than 40 years.

“Before we knew it, we were overrun by media … the police department, eventually the National Capital Commission.”

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Around 10:15 a.m., satisfied with her bath, the moose was able to get out of the pool on her own and hopped over the fence to head back into the streets.

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Ottawa Police Services confirmed the moose safely cleared the nearby roadways and “rejoined its friends in the woods.”

Though Koch and his wife avoided any direct contact with the beast, his pool ended up slightly damaged as her hoof punctured the pool’s liner and she damaged part of the foundation around the shallow end when exiting.

He says he’s been told by his insurance company that his coverage does, in fact, include moose damage.

As the excitement dies down heading into the weekend, Koch says he’s ready to relax after adding a new creature to his list of domestic encounters.

“We had a skunk in our yard the other day, we had a raccoon about three weeks ago, we always get ducks and squirrels and chipmunks and so on … never a moose.”

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