Two moose that had checked out a school playground in the Indian Trail neighborhood were tranquilized and removed Monday by state wildlife officers, but not before the 900-pound bull knocked down a wooden fence.
“Some kids at Woodridge Elementary School called their parents with a great excuse for why they weren’t walking home right after school – a moose was in the way,” said Madonna Luers, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman.
Moose are still in their mating season, which is why the bull was pursuing the cow and why other moose incidents are being reported around Spokane, said wildlife officer Mike Sprecher. “It’s not safe for them to be hanging around a school and along Indian Trail Road.”
Homeowner Marcia Hardy watched the spectacle from her house. “When I saw the moose, the officers had them cornered in our cul-de-sac,” waiting for horse trailers to arrive, she said.
“A whole bunch of people came out to take pictures with their phones. The officers said OK, but they wanted people to clear out when they shot the darts into the moose.”
The cow dropped quickly after being tranquilized, but the lovesick bull was more agitated.
“He came to our yard and I saw him wobbling and thought he’s going to go through our fence, and he did,” Hardy said, noting that the moose toppled a full section of the 6-foot-high wooden fence.
“But I was amazed at how safely and efficiently the officers handled the situation.”
Sprecher said the bull’s antlers were sawed off for its safety as both animals were trucked away in separate trailers.
“Moose hunting season runs through Nov. 4, and hunters need to know that the drugs remain in the moose for 30 days,” Luers said.
“The bull has sawed-off antlers and a red tag in its ear, and the cow has a yellow ear tag,” Sprecher said. “It’s legal for hunters with a moose permit to kill a tagged moose, but they should avoid these two.”
The moose were released in north Spokane County near the Pend Oreille County line and the border with Idaho, he said.