Sunday, March 7, 2021
Hailey Moose Gets Eye Checkup
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Regional Conservation Officer Josh Royse monitors the sick cow moose who has taken up residence in Hailey this year after it’s treated.
   
Friday, February 12, 2021
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY IDAHO FISH AND GAME

A cow moose with a severe case of conjunctivitis in both eyes got a second round of treatment this week.

Hailey residents who spotted the moose in their back yards called Idaho Fish and Game during the past week to report that the moose still had signs of conjunctivitis, said Terry Thompson, public information officer for the Magic Valley office.

 
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Wildlife biologist Sierra Robatcek applies antibiotic spray to the cow moose for its conjunctivitis.
 

So, when Hailey residents called this week to say the moose was bedded down in their backyard, Fish and Game biologists sped to Hailey to dart and anesthetize the moose to give her a second treatment.

Thompson said the biologists were able to capture the moose, which had a GPS collar so biologists could track her location and assess if the initial antibiotic treatment was effective.  They administered another round of antibiotics, and they removed twine that they found wrapped tightly around her nose.

While it appears the first round of antibiotics helped, it is hoped a second treatment will reduce the swelling and eliminate the conjunctivitis, said Thompson.

Regional Wildlife Biologist Sierra Robatcek said more moose are being spotted in neighborhoods throughout the Wood River Valley this year.

 
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Regional Wildlife biologist Sierra Robatcek applies an antibiotic cream to the eyes of the cow moose.
 

In fact, schoolchildren at Alturas Elementary had to be brought in off the playground last week after what some described as the biggest bull moose they’d ever seen wandered through the neighborhood.

“This is a great reminder for everyone to watch out for these big animals. We want to keep everyone safe when living near wildlife,” she added.

Fish and Game will continue to monitor the moose over the coming weeks.

The moose and her calf have been spotted throughout Hailey, showing up in the Albertsons parking lot and other public places.

Residents are encouraged to not approach her or allow dogs near her because her eyesight is limited, which could make her react unpredictably.

Approaching wildlife is an invasion of their space, and can be especially detrimental to an animal’s health during the winter months when conserving energy reserves is important for survival, Thompson added.

 

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