FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The moose that were reported in Fort St. John on Halloween, were killed yesterday.
Dean Velkjar, Sergeant of the North Peace Zone with the Conservation Officer Service says they killed the moose because of the risk they posed to the public.
“These moose had shown a persistent and sustained risk to the public in that area. It went well beyond being just a nuisance. We felt, I felt, the agency felt the risk in that area posed by that family unit, particularly the cow, were too great.”
Velkjar says they didn’t want to have anybody in the community hurt, seriously injured or otherwise.
The Conservation Office noted they received numerous calls about the animals from citizens.
“Over a 5 to 7 day period, we got 8 or 9 calls. We were getting calls fairly regularly because once residents started recognizing and becoming aware of the risk these animals presented, we were getting more calls.
It was to the point where people couldn’t safely leave their home, people couldn’t even get to their vehicles, things like this.”
He says it is hard to say when the moose moved into the area but they had been tracking them for about a week.
“We had a few occasions where we were able to move them out of the residential areas with the hopes that they would move onto better moose habitat but for whatever reason, that I can’t explain or fathom, they didn’t do that.
Even yesterday, we saw where there were oppurtunities for the cow to take her family in any different direction and for whatever reason she chose to go back into the residential area. It was really bizarre behaviour in my opinion that an animal would choose the hustle and bustle of a urban neighbourhood over a habitat that they are actually suited for.”
The moose were in a eastern neighbourhood in Fort St. John. Veljkar says they were wandering close to the Gateway Mall lands.