Aggressive moose on the loose in Prince George
2 people have been injured
Conservation officers and city officials in Prince George are warning people about an aggressive cow moose that is wandering near the Ginter's Meadow area with her two calves.
Two people in the last week-and-a-half have been knocked down by the mother moose while walking their dogs, causing injuries,
In both cases, the moose was likely trying to protect her calves, said Steve Eccles, a sergeant with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service for Omineca.
"Wildlife equate [dogs] to wolves, which are predators in the wild. And so, that's what moms think," Eccles told Daybreak North host Carolina de Ryk.
"We've got three-and-a-half feet of snow in some areas, which would make it difficult for the calves to move and run away at this time. So, she's given a little bit of extra special attention to protecting those calves."
Nicole St. Hilaire, was washing dishes in her home near the off-leash area at Ginter's Meadow, when she spotted the moose curled up in her yard.
"[The moose] went from this tight little brown ball to this huge thing standing in front of our shop," said St. Hilaire.
"You could feel [the moose's] size and presence there on the deck. like the house shook when she was walking on the deck."
The moose wandered around her yard, snacking on trees and eventually hopped the fence and left, she said.
Local Brad Routley had two moose encounters last week, while walking his two-year-old Lab, Dakota.
"I came face to face with a young bull," said Routley. "I got out of his way, and then the next day, I come face to face with the mama with two calves. I got out of her way too."
The city has posted signs on the trails near Ginter's Meadow warning people to be aware of the moose and to keep their dogs on leash.
"It is a natural corridor for all wildlife. In the summer, it's a corridor for bears," said Eccles. "I would ask and have asked, that the public just steer clear of this [area] for a month or so with their dogs."
He says that even though a dog may not be going after the moose, they are still viewed as a threat.
"I love my dogs. I wouldn't want to take the chance of having that altercation with a moose, because when you're dealing with a 800 to 1,000 pound animal, the outcome could be devastating for that dog."
Eccles said if you encounter the moose, it is best to stay back and try and return to where you came from.
"Don't let the moose feel cornered," said Eccles. "Give that moose or animal a way out."
He recommends making noise, so that the moose is aware you are there and backing away slowly.
Shepherding the moose
In the meantime, Eccles said they are looking for ways to shepherd the mother moose and her calves away from the area, but they haven't had many opportunities where there isn't a risk of the moose running into traffic or possibly creating more harm.
"We have to take a lot into consideration before we even attempt to to move them or shepherd them away from where they're at," said Eccles.
Moose sightings can be reported to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.
Learn more by listening to the full interview.
with files from Daybreak North