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Halfmoon moose looking for love in all the wrong places

Updated: 12/06/2013 3:40 PM
Created: 09/24/2013 12:12 PM WNYT.com
By: Abigail Bleck

HALFMOON -- If you're a 600 pound, two and a half year old bull moose, what better place to nap than behind a house on Dunsbach Road?  Tired after days of searching for a mate, the little guy (adult male moose weigh in at upwards of 1200 pounds) just needed a rest.

"The young bulls, especially, travel a lot because older bulls kick them out of their territory," explains New York State Wildlife Biologist, Ed Reed, who works for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

But wildlife officials had different plans for the moose.  The property he chose to spend his morning on was less than a mile from the Northway.

"It's a danger to the moose and a danger to people.  If a car hits a moose, it's a serious accident."

So, after the homeowner called ENCON, the biologists moved quickly by surrounding the bull as quietly as possible.  They loaded several dart guns with a combination of analgesic and sedative and shot--ultimately striking the ideal target--the moose's neck.  In minutes he was staggering and then, finally, safely down.

"That moose could run, charge people, go into a swamp.  We don't know what will happen after the dart hits."

Once fully resting, the scientists approached cautiously to provide oxygen and check the moose's vitals.  And, if you're wondering how many people it took to move the young bull from the ground to inside the trailer it will travel in?  Close to a dozen--and it was hard for them.

"That was pretty much a perfect immobilization event.  The dart hit and the dart functioned.   The moose was calm and laid down."

The moose was then tagged and after it woke and was able to stand again on its own, released in the Adirondacks.

The moose, shortly after its release
Photo: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
State Department of Environmental Conservation officers prepare to transport a moose after tranquilizing it in Halfmoon.
Photo: Abigail Bleck / WNYT

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