GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A few Grand Junction residents saw a relatively rare sight Thursday morning when a young bull moose found it’s way to an area north of Highway 50, just east of 32 Road.
Wildlife officers responded and monitored the moose, encouraging it to move toward the Grand Mesa.
Moose do not fear humans and are difficult to haze. After giving it time to move on its own, Area Wildlife Manager JT Romatzke of Colorado Parks and Wildlife made the decision to capture and relocate it to suitable habitat on the Mesa later in the day.
“Moose are getting into their rutting season. They are active and competing for territory and that is probably why this one ended up here,” said Romatzke. “We don’t see moose in Grand Junction too often but it is certainly possible that we could see a few more in the future as their populations expand.”
Romatzke says this is only the second time a moose has been spotted in town.
Moose capture and relocation efforts can be difficult, but Romatzke said he and his officers were able to tranquilize and move the animal without it suffering any injuries.
“Moving moose has its risks, but credit goes to my officers,” said Romatzke. “They did a great job, and all is well with the moose.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds the public that moose, especially during the rut or when protecting a calf, can be very aggressive. Dogs are often a catalyst for aggressive moose behavior because the large animals see the dog as a wolf, their only natural predator.
“If another moose comes into town, we encourage everyone to keep their distance, keep their dogs away and call Colorado Parks and Wildlife as soon as possible,” said Romatzke.
For more information about moose, visit www.cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeMoose.aspx