Loose moose caught in Montreal

Quebec authorities captured a moose seen running through Montreal's East end on Tuesday. Wildlife experts believe the moose swam to the island.
Montreal police chased the moose to a building lot near the circus school in St-Michel, and then cornered it. ((CBC))
Quebec authorities have captured a moose seen running through Montreal's East end on Tuesday that wildlife experts believe swam to the island.

The mammal, which weighs about 250 kilograms, was spotted in the Rivière-des-Prairies borough early Tuesday morning, running down a major road.

The moose appeared scared and hid behind road equipment. ((CBC))
CBC reporter Sabrina Marandola was driving to work Tuesday morning around 5 a.m. when she first saw the moose, near the intersection of Albert-Hudon Boulevard and Henri-Bourassa Boulevard.

"All of sudden, I just saw something huge trotting along the road. I looked up five feet in the air, and saw that it was a moose," said Marandola. 

"It trotted alongside the car, and it just galloped ahead."

Marandola admitted she was scared, but not as much as the moose. "Saliva was hanging from its mouth, his eyes were darting around, and you could tell he was in distress," she said. "Poor thing, I felt bad."

The moose was zigzagging across Albert-Hudon Boulevard  prompting Marandola to call 911. She was the first to alert authorities, who say they received her call at 5:10 a.m.

Wildlife experts used tranquilizers to subdue the moose, and transferred it to a flat-bed truck. ((CBC))

Police were stumped but got assistance from Quebec's wildlife experts, said Const. Olivier Lapointe.

"I've never seen that before. And all the police officers that were there were very surprised by the situation," he said.

The young animal made its way west toward TOHU, the circus school near Jarry St. in the St-Michel borough.

It finally stopped near a fence, allowing police to corner the animal until wildlife authorities arrived on site and tranquilized it.

"Looking for a moose is like looking for a suspect, or someone on the loose," said Lapointe. "When we found it, we cornered the animal, used the tools that we had.

"We get a lot of training at the montreal police, different kinds of things, but there's not a training to deal with moose, that's for sure."

Wildlife authorities said the moose was taken to Mont-Tremblant provincial park, north of Montreal, where it was released.

Officers waited a few hours to watch the moose as the effects of the tranquilizer wore off, said wildlife officer Sgt. Claude Beaulieu with Quebec's Natural Resources Ministry.

"When we left the park the moose was alive and in good condition," he said.

Wildlife experts say the moose, which appears to be about two years old, probably swam to Montreal from Sainte-Thérèse Island, just north of the city, which is a rare occurrence.

Ottawa incidents ended in moose deaths

The handling of the incident contrasts starkly with how Ottawa police handled two separate moose incursions in the city in the last month.

Both incidents — one involving two moose in the east-end neighbourhood of Orleans and another involving a single moose near Highway 417 — ended with Ottawa police shooting a moose dead.

Ottawa police said they contacted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. In both cases, the ministry said the animals were out of their jurisdiction.

In the first incident on June 1, the ministry did put police in touch with a local zookeeper, but he was unable to tranquilize the animals before police shot one.

After police shot a second moose on Saturday, Ottawa police Chief Vern White and city officials arranged a meeting this week with the ministry to discuss how to handle future wildlife incursions.