Moose put down after wandering onto Queensway
Tranquillization not an option for dealing with injured animal, MNR says
Highway 417 in west Ottawa is open again after a wayward moose forced its closure in both directions during Thursday morning rush hour.
The moose had to be put down, said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
CBC News started getting calls about the moose near the Pinecrest Road exit at about 6:15 a.m.
Police on scene had parked around the animal off to the right-hand side of the highway.
The moose appeared to have an injured front leg.
"Unfortunately the moose had to be euthanized because there just wasn't another safe option," said Jolanta Kowalski, a ministry spokesperson. "The animal was injured and it had been on the highway for quite some time."
She said public safety is always top priority, and because of the animal's size, unpredictability, and amount of time it takes for drugs to take effect, tranquillization wasn't a viable option.
"Even if you're doing the best tranquillizing job there's going to be possibly a moment or couple minutes before that animal goes down and how they react isn't predictable.
She said ministry officials had to travel from Kemptville and were caught in the traffic backlog caused by the moose, which resulted in a delay reaching it.
The highway was closed in the area for about an hour until approximately 9:30 a.m., OPP said.
Moose meat to be used by nearby Indigenous community
The moose carcass will be donated to the Algonquins of Ontario, an Indigenous group representing 10 communities west of the Ottawa River.
"If there's an animal which is in danger like that and it has to be put down, that rather than have it go to waste, it is given to our communities and then the meat is distributed amongst members and elders," said Lynn Clouthier, an Algonquin negotiations representative with the group who received a call from the ministry Thursday asking if they wanted the carcass.
She said they receive around four or five similar calls from the ministry each year. In this case, the meat will be prepared and frozen in Smiths Falls before it's distributed.
with files from Kimberley Molina