CENTERVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – A cow moose was relocated on Saturday, Feb. 25, after being spotted running loose at a construction site in Centerville, according to the Centerville Police Dept.
Police say the moose was seen in the new Summerhill development on the north end of town. Officers were reportedly able to sedate and relocate the animal.
“Our officers helped in her relocation. Not really news worthy, but who doesn’t like looking at moose pics, especially when they’re gorked out on tranquilizers with their tongue hanging out,” a social media post states.
According to the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), Utah is home to between 2,500 and 3,000 moose. They are reportedly the largest animals in the deer family, and many of them can be found along the Wasatch Front and in northern and northeastern Utah.
Adult moose in Utah can reportedly weigh anywhere between 800 to 1,200 pounds, and due to their large size, they are highly dangerous when they feel threatened. In fact, DWR states that in some areas of the U.S., there are more people injured by moose than bears each year.
DWR Wildlife Section Chief Covy Jones says, “In my years of working with wildlife, I have dealt with bears, rattlesnakes, cougars and moose, and the only species that I’ve had turn and come back at me was a moose. People often underestimate how aggressive they can be.”
Moose often feel threatened when people or dogs get too close, leading them to charge, knock someone over and stomp on them.
Here is a list of warning signs that a moose may become aggressive:
- Lowering their head
- Hair standing up on the neck
- Licking their snout
- Pinning their ears back
Additionally. here are some tips DWR has provided to stay safe in case of an encounter:
- Always give moose a lot of space and watch their behavior.
- Never try to approach or feed a moose.
- Keep dogs leashed and under control at all times. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to chase or harass protected hoofed wildlife.
- Stay calm and do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back away in the direction you came.
- If a moose charges you or chases you, hide behind something solid, like a tree, or try to get inside a vehicle or building.
- If a moose knocks you down, curl into a ball, protect your head and lie still until the moose retreats.
More information on moose in Utah is available here.