Moose Wanders Through People's Yards in Colorado Before Being Tranquilized

Wildlife officers had to tranquilize and relocate a moose after the animal was found wandering through a residential neighborhood.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said the young bull moose had spent a few days in the Durango region of Colorado before walking through a downtown area.

The wildlife agency knew the animal was nearby on Monday after people reported it near the Colorado Trail west of Durango, according to a CPW press release. The next day it had made its way to the Crestview neighborhood.

By Wednesday, a woman had called CPW from a downtown residential area to report that the moose had wandered into her back yard.

Photos posted on the CPW press release show the animal wandering outside homes.

Log into Facebook to start sharing and connecting with your friends, family, and people you know.

CPW wildlife officers began monitoring its movements throughout the day before tranquilizing it at around 6 p.m. local time that evening.

The moose was loaded into a horse trailer, and biologists observed its health and gave it ear tags. The moose was then given medication to reverse the tranquilizer, and it was released into a new habitat in the San Juan National Forest later that evening, CPW said.

Steve McClung, CPW assistant area wildlife manager, said in a press release that while moose do sometimes come into towns, they usually make their way safely back out again. Several moose have wandered into Durango and the surrounding area in recent years, the CPW noted.

McClung said: "Young bulls are known to wander off from their more normal habitats this time of year in search of mates and their own territory.

"This one being in the middle of town with no clear path to move out on its own, and the risk of aggressive behavior toward pedestrians, especially those with dogs, it needed to be safely relocated."

McClung thanked residents for keeping their distance allowing the wildlife officers to take care of the situation. He urged people to be aware when around moose or in their habitat, adding: "Keep dogs on leashes and keep your distance."

According to the CPW, the moose population in Colorado is thriving with around 3,000 individuals statewide due to successful reintroduction efforts.

The animals are huge, with Colordo's Shiras moose reaching up to six feet at the shoulder and weighing between 800 and 1,200 pounds. Bull moose grow antlers which can reach up to 5 feet wide in larger individuals.

Moose have been known to attack people, with CPW sharing a video earlier this year in which one of the animals charged at a person who happened to come across it. CPW said the person was not injured as they managed to get behind a tree.

Bull moose
A stock photo shows a bull moose standing in some grass. The animals can stand up to six feet at the shoulder. John Morrison/Getty