Nova Scotia

Pictou County moose fell from chopper

It turns out the moose that died Thursday was dropped from a helicopter.

Department of Natural Resources now reviewing rescue procedures

It turns out the moose that died Thursday was dropped from a helicopter.

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources initially said the endangered moose likely died of a combination of drugs and stress.

But on Friday,a spokesman for the department admitted the net that held the moose came loose from the cable as the helicopter took off.

"When the moose was first put into a sling for transport, it fell approximately 12 or 15 feet when being lifted by the helicopter," said Dan Davis.

"We wanted to let people know that," he said. "We don't know at this point, but it may have contributed to its death."

Wildlife officers moved in Thursday to relocate the young bull moose after it was spotted roaming near the town of Pictou. They feared the animal might cause a traffic accident.

A spokesman said officers shot the animal with a tranquillizer dart, then hoisted it by helicopter. By the time it was lowered to a waiting trailer, the moose was dead.

Information about the fall wasn't available Thursday afternoon, Davis said, adding the department is now reviewing its procedures.

A veterinarian is examining the moose to determine the cause of death.

The mainland Nova Scotia moose was declared an endangered species in 2003. There are only an estimated 1,000 animals left in isolated areas, a decline of 20 per cent over the past three decades.