Orphaned Moose Safety Captured, To Be Relocated to Wildlife Facility
July 13, 2016
The calves had been regularly monitored since they were orphaned in June. They had been observed with other moose and were feeding in the area. While smaller than other calves born in the park this May, they were considered healthy and active.
Early consultation with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game had determined that allowing the calves to remain in the area and not intervene in natural processes was the best course of action.
The situation changed when interactions between the calves and people in the entrance area became more frequent. Park staff had received reports of visitors being close enough to the calves to feed them. Motorists were observed walking in highway travel lanes, crossing the road in front of fast-moving traffic, parking erratically in unsafe locations, and leaving vehicle doors open in order to view or photograph moose calves feeding. The calves had also been observed crossing the Parks Highway, sometimes multiple times a day, causing extremely unsafe driving conditions.
Park management and wildlife staff responded to this change and made the decision this week to capture and relocate the calves.
Superintendent Don Striker said, “This was another fine example of the strong partnership we enjoy with the State of Alaska and our many neighbors. I’m pleased to add the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to our growing list of partners in conservation.”
In June, a consultation with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, determined that catching the calves at that time was not feasible because, at about three weeks old, they were too mobile and trying to catch them would pose a danger to them.
People authorized to carry firearms under Alaska State law are allowed to carry firearms in the park, however, the discharge of a firearm in the park and killing of the moose is a violation of both 36 CFR 2.3(a)(1)(iii) and 2.2(a)(1) – using a weapon and taking of wildlife.
While there is not a “defense of life and property” (DLP) provision in the federal laws governing national parks, there is under Alaska State law and any shooting MUST be reported.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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