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Behind The Badge: Centerville Police and DWR officers relocate a wayward moose

Behind the Badge

CENTERVILLE (ABC4 News) – Utah law enforcement officers have to deal with all kinds of subjects, some of whom won’t follow commands and have absolutely no regard for safety.

A pair of Centerville Police Officers recently located a very cranky two-year-old in the middle of a busy intersection and this guy weighed 900 pounds!

It was 7:45 Sunday morning when reports came in of a moose meandering around Parrish Lane and Main Street, soon heading north into a residential neighborhood, hopping fences and cutting through yards. 

Officer Alex Farnes alerted Officer Troy Cash. 

“She hopped on the radio and she called me and says, ‘Hey Cash, we got a moose!’.”

Officer Cash tracked the animal while keeping residents away from it.

“There’s so many people who were out walking. Walking their dogs. Walking with their families to church, things like that,” Officer Cash told Behind The Badge. “I’m just like ‘Please don’t let anybody be in the path of this moose’ because I’ve encountered moose myself up in the mountains and sometimes they’re not very nice, they’re dangerous animals.”

Conservation Officer Brooklyn Evans from the Division of Wildlife Resources says the young bull had probably recently left his mother and was out exploring for the first time.

“He’s probably just being adventurous, especially being such a young bull,” Officer Evans said. “Just kind of trying to see what else is out there.”

Eventually, DWR officers found him in a backyard and shot him with a tranquilizer dart.
Soon the moose was down for a nap and the threat was over, not a moment too soon for Officer Cash.

“He was grumpy,” Officer Cash said. “He put his head down and was actually coming at one of the DWR guys. He hopped over a fence and I ran back to my vehicle ’cause we were like ‘We don’t know what he was going to do’.”

“They’re going to be more territorial and they’re going to be a little more aggressive. They will charge,” Officer Evans said. “If he would have been approached by an adult, a child or even a pet, we don’t know what would have happened.”

It’s uncommon but not unheard of for moose to wander into populated areas, like one who wound up in a Salt Lake City parking lot ten years ago. It, too, was tranquilized and then transported to more appropriate grazing grounds just like the Centerville moose.

“Once the moose was sedated, we put it on the tarp and then take it to the trailer,” Officer Evans said. “He had a nice little trip up to East Canyon, so a nice Sunday drive for him.”

Once there, wildlife officers revived and released it unharmed. Now it and the officers have a bit of a “tale”. 

“I love a happy story where he gets to go back home and be free and I don’t know, be a moose,” Officer Cash said. “This is once in a lifetime for me, I’m sure. I’ve never experienced anything like this before.”

If you ever happen to see a wild animal in an urban or suburban area, do what the Centerville residents did and call the police and please never approach it. That selfie with a moose simply isn’t worth the risk.

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