Jackson – Wyoming Game and Fish officials are asking residents to be aware and show patience with moose and other wildlife that often show up in residential areas during the winter months. The Jackson Game and Fish office has received numerous calls from concerned citizens about moose and other wildlife in residential areas, prompting them to offer advice on how to avoid problems with these animals. This winter has been a bit more problematic due to the amount of snow the area has received.
“It really is a matter of simply being aware and giving animals plenty of room,” said Kyle Lash, South Jackson Game Warden for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We often don’t expect to see these animals in our neighborhood or developed areas, but this time of year we should be more cognizant of that possibility.”
Wildlife officials are asking residents to be wary and exhibit patience when encountering wildlife. “Generally, these animals are not going to pose a threat to anyone as long as we give them their space, control our pets around them and so on,” said Lash. “However, if an animal is charging people or posing a threat, we want to know about it and we will respond.”
Game and Fish had received several complaints of a bull moose acting agressively in a neighborhood near the town of Alpine. Unfortunately, several moose were being fed by a resident in the subdivision and one of the bulls had become agressive toward people and caused a lot of property damage. In fact, when Game & Fish officials investigated the situation the bull acted aggressive and was sprayed with bear spray. While feeding wildlife is illegal in Teton County, it is not in the town of Alpine, which is in Lincoln County.
It was determined that the best option for both the moose and the residents was to tranquilize the animal, remove its antlers and release it at the Game & Fish Department’s South Park Wildlife Habitat Managment Area south of Jackson.
Wildlife officials acknowledge that wildlife, such as moose, can be potentially dangerous and offer these tips to avoid a conflict:
Do not feed wildlife
Be especially watchful during times of low light. Moose can be difficult to see at night
Look for tracks or other signs of moose on trails, pathways, or around houses
Never crowd an animal or surround it
Always allow an animal an escape route
Always control pets while walking them and make sure there are no wildlife around before letting animals out of the house.
View and photograph animals from a distance.
Similarly, Game and Fish officials are also asking area motorists to be wary and exhibit patience to avoid collisions with wildlife. “Wildlife are regularly using area roadways this time of year and can be especially hard to see in low light situations,” says Lash. “We really need to slow down and give ourselves plenty of braking distance, especially on potentially slick roads.”
“This is a stressful time for all wildlife and we need to give them room, whether it’s in the backcountry or our own backyard,” said Lash.