Young moose wandering in Durango gets new home in national forest

Local News

CPW safely loaded the moose into a horse trailer where it could undergo examination and be tagged before being transported for release. (Credit: CPW)

DURANGO, Colo. (KDVR) – A wandering moose got a new place to roam after being discovered in downtown Durango.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) moved the moose to the San Juan National Forest on Wednesday after the young bull was spotted on Monday.

The moose made his first appearance near the Colorado Trail along Junction Creek west of Durango. He was seen in the Crestview neighborhood on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, the moose was in a backyard of a home in the downtown residential area.

“Young bulls are known to wander off from their more normal habitats this time of year in search of mates and their own territory,” said CPW assistant area wildlife manager Steve McClung.

“They can cover a lot of ground pretty quickly. Usually if they come to town, they will move along and work their way safely out of town. 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.”

The moose was tranquilized, safely moved to a horse trailer and transported to the San Juan National Forest.

A health inspection and an ear tag were completed before the moose received the drug to reverse the effects of the tranquilizer. The moose was safely back on its feet soon after, according to CPW.

“Through lots of patience and the support and cooperation of neighbors, we were able to safely get the moose down the hill and loaded up to be released back into appropriate moose habitat,” McClung said.

“It is always best to be aware when around moose or in their habitat,” McClung said. “Keep dogs on leashes and keep your distance. If you want to get a picture, use a long lens and your zoom.”

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