Moose keep strolling through St. Albert's Grandin neighbourhood
Province says moose are not normally aggressive, but may attack if stressed
Residents in St. Albert's Grandin neighbourhood can't help but notice how nosy their neighbours have been lately.
Multiple berry-munching moose have been spotted close to homes and schools in the area in recent weeks.
Lyndsey Smyth told CBC News she has seen plenty of coyotes during her two years in the neighbourhood, but no moose, until a pair of them showed up last week.
"They just walked right up alongside of our house and then they walked in front of our house," she said.
"My dogs were going berserk inside."
Two weeks ago, Anna Cassidy and her husband, Brendan, saw a pair of moose walking casually down their street in Grandin and up their neighbour's driveway.
Moose have also been spotted recently in Heritage Lakes, one neighbourhood over.
Staff at Wild Rose Elementary, Albert Lacombe Catholic Elementary and Robert Rundle Elementary send each other animal updates after sightings.
Just another reason to have an indoor recess today. <a href="https://t.co/UVcSEALUtx">pic.twitter.com/UVcSEALUtx</a>—@WildRoseEle
When Derek Herman, Wild Rose Elementary's principal, gets word of a moose on the move from another school, he stands on "moose guard," surveying the school grounds and alerting students, staff and parents if one appears.
'It's exciting, but we just want to use that as an education tool as well to let our families know that we want to stay away from our wild animals as much as possible," he said.
What to do if you spot moose
Alberta government spokesperson Ina Lucila said in an email that wildlife officers are aware of the moose spotted in St. Albert but have not received any recent complaints about them posing a threat to public safety.
"Moose are always in search of food," she said.
"They browse continuously and often follow food sources into developed areas."
In winter, Lucila said, moose may take advantage of city streets and paths if the freeze–thaw cycle makes snow difficult to move through.
Normally, moose are not aggressive, she said, but a stressed moose — such as a female moose protecting her young — may attack.
She offered the following tips for residents who encounter moose:
- Ensure escape routes in backyards are kept clear and draw curtains on patio doors so moose won't mistake them for escape routes
- Keep children and animals inside until moose move on
- Do not try to scare moose by yelling or throwing objects
- If a moose charges, run and seek a car, tree or building to hide behind
- Avoid moose in your path
- Watch for moose on the road and be prepared to stop
To report a moose that either poses a risk to public safety or is struggling to return to the wild because of urban barriers, contact Alberta Fish and Wildlife at 310-000 or, if outside business hours, the Report a Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.
With files from Julia Lipscombe