An injured bull moose in the Wilmington Notch has been causing quite a commotion for the past several days.
The moose, which appeared on Saturday, has been standing in the West Branch of the AuSable River. It appears to have an injured leg.
Wildlife staff with the state Department of Environmental Conservation "theorize that it is possible that the cool waters of the river are soothing to its injury," DEC spokesman Dave Winchell told the Enterprise by email. "However, the extent of the injury it is not known nor is it known why the moose keeps returning to the river."
A bull moose stands in the West Branch of the AuSable River in the Wilmington Notch. The moose has caused some unsafe traffic conditions because state Route 86 is narrow and windy there, so the state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking motorists not to stop.
(Photo courtesy of the New York Ski Education Foundation)
As the moose apparently tries to nurse itself back to health, it's drawn a lot of attention from passing motorists, who are stopping on the road to view it. That has caused some traffic problems on state Route 86. The road above the moose is narrow and twisty with very little shoulder.
As a result, state police and an environmental conservation officer have been directing traffic near the moose.
The DEC told the Enterprise today that they are asking people not to stop their motor vehicles near the moose because it's been causing unsafe conditions for motorists. Winchell said there were a few times when people standing on the road were almost hit by passing motorists.
"We've had some close calls," he said.
A DEC wildlife technician shot the moose with a paintball gun on Saturday, attempting to persuade the animal to leave the area. That didn't work, and the moose returned.
"Because the animal is able to walk, at this point it appears its chances for survival are high. DEC and State Police continue to monitor the moose's behavior and condition from a distance to determine what, if any, further action may be taken," Winchell said.