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Moose on the Loose in Canadian Prairies Cities

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Wayde Carroll/Visit Anchorage PR

Think you have to get out into the wilderness to see one of Canada’s most majestic animals? Nope. You can simply wander through any major city in Alberta or Saskatchewan, apparently. Moose have been showing up wandering the city playgrounds and airport runways in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina in recent weeks.

While it’s not unusual for a few moose to be spotted out on the town each year, the numbers are inordinately high so far this year.

As with humans, it’s the younger set who take the most risks: the sightings in the cities tend to be of yearling moose. Executive director of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Darrell Crabbe, told CTV that the attraction for the moose is likely the rivers that flow through these cities.

The Government of Saskatchewan maintains that the moose population has been growing steadily for the past 30 years, resulting in higher moose-hunting quotas. (Moose have no natural predators.

Some moose-safety tips (read more at the University of Northern British Columbia Web site):

  • Put as much distance as possible between you and the animal by slowly and cautiously moving away
  • Be aware of signs of aggressiveness such as flattening of the ears or lowering of the head
  • Don’t block the moose’s escape route
  • Don’t place yourself between two moose
  • If a moose charges, get behind a large stationary object

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