SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — “Losing Roxii was awful.”
Those were the words of Summit County Sheriff Frank Smith after deputies were forced to euthanize the beloved moose after she was found with at least one broken leg on Sunday.
Utah Department of National Resources Public Information Office Faith Heaton Jolley said sheriff’s deputies notified her office that Roxii was found with “at least one broken back leg” and was “unable to stand.” Because of the difficulties of rehabilitating big game, Jolley said DNR authorized the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to euthanize her.
“I want to share with our residents that it was extremely painful for the deputy to take her life,” said Smith. “I am grateful to the deputy for having the courage to make such a difficult decision and be the person that brought her beautiful life to an end.”
Roxii was well-known among the residents of Pinebrook, Summit Park and Jeremy Ranch, said Smith. Residents protected her and looked after her as she raised countless calves over the years.
“It was a painful and heartbreaking decision to end Roxii’s suffering,” said Smith. “Oftentimes, it is best to let nature take its course, but in the case of Roxii, it was in the best interests of Roxii and our residents, to humanely bring her life to a close.”
Jolley said deputies euthanized Roxii due to a lack of conservation officers in the area, as those officers are patrolling ongoing hunts.
“It is not feasible to rehabilitate big game animals in Utah, due to disease concerns, low survival rates of wildlife that are acclimated to people, and a lack of resources,” said Jolley. “So when an animal is injured and becomes immobile, there aren’t other options besides humanely euthanizing the animal.”
DNR was familiar with Roxii, as attempts were made to tranquilize and relocate her in 2020. However, local residents pushed back, and eventually, Roxii was left to roam city limits rather than “being relocated to a safer mountain location.”
However, Smith noted that Roxii’s presence in the community taught locals a lot about wildlife, and residents went to great lengths to ensure she was safe.
“Take peace in knowing she taught our community so much and made life safer for our wildlife,” said Smith. “She lived a long life and our community was better for knowing and loving her. Please pay tribute to Roxii by being good stewards of our wildlife.”
Smith said anyone who sees animals in danger should contact his office at 435-615-3601, or in an emergency, dial 911.