March 11, 2009 in City, Outdoors

Hazing attempt kills moose in Liberty Lake

By The Spokesman-Review
Pat Cadagan photo

A cow and calf moose hanging out in Liberty Lake had lost all wariness of humans. The calf was accidently killed Tuesday afternoon – a day after this cell-phone image was made from a distance of about four feet – as state wildlife officers tried to haze the animals away from a daycare center.
(Full-size photo)

A moose was accidentally killed Tuesday afternoon as state wildlife officials tried to haze a cow and calf away from a children’s day care center in Liberty Lake.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officers responded to a call from Liberty Lake police, who had received a call Tuesday morning from a concerned parent, said Police Chief Brian Asmus.

Dave Spurbeck, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department enforcement officer, was shooting noisemaker “cracker shells” at the pair of moose when the accident occurred, said Madonna Luers, the agency’s spokeswoman in Spokane Valley.

“There’s a big open field to the east and they thought they could chase them away from the Meadow Wood Children’s Center,” Asmus said.

“The cow was cooperating, but the calf became erratic and kept coming back. One of the cracker shells hit it wrong,” Luers said. “The officer felt really bad.”

The calf was smaller than normal and in poor health, Luers said, adding that the meat could not be salvaged.

The cow and calf had been hanging out in Liberty Lake neighborhoods for several weeks, Asmus said.

“We’ve probably received in excess of 50 phone calls about cow and calf moose sightings, but there hadn’t been any clear reason for concern until lately,” Asmus said Wednesday morning. “On Tuesday alone, we had about eight phone calls,” he said.

The cow was still in the area on Wednesday morning. Wildlife officers were monitoring the situation to see if it would move away on its own, Luers said.

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