Moose on the loose in Plattsburgh, later captured (and safe)

PLATTSBURGH — A moose on the loose in the city of Plattsburgh Wednesday was later safely captured by environmental conservation officers at approximately 6 p.m. after falling into the swimming pool of Hollie Mercurio on Concord Avenue.

Mercurio was sitting on her front porch when a group of police cars pulled up to her house.

She asked a police officer what was happening.

“He said, ‘Step back inside, please. There’s a moose in your backyard.'”

Rushing to her back door to look, Mercurio found that the animal had fallen through her pool cover.

“The one they say an elephant can walk on,” Mercurio joked.

Officers used the pool cover to pull and lead the animal to the shallow end of the pool.

The officers had to tranquilize the animal, Plattsburgh City Police Chief Levi Ritter said, as it was unable to get out of the pool on its own.

Mercurio was able to watch as a specialized tarp was wrapped around the tranquilized moose to lift it from the pool.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Chris Lagree said the moose, a young female, had been in the city for the past three days as officers tried to corral it. She apparently headed into the city from the west, probably the Saranac-Standish area, and followed the Saranac River into the city.

Lagree said the moose will be released by DEC somewhere on either state land in the Saranac region or on private land, according to agreements already in place with the state. The exact location wasn’t known as of early Wednesday evening.

“They did a fabulous job, and I’m just glad the moose is out safely,” Mercurio said, noting that the encounter made for some excitement during the quiet days of social distancing.


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