Tuesday, July 27, 2021
 
 
Hailey Population Drops by Two as Moose and Calf Moved
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The cow and calf moose apparently found the lush landscape in a Hailey neighborhood to their liking.
   
Saturday, July 10, 2021
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY IDAHO FISH AND GAME

While hundreds of Wood River Valley residents enjoyed Sunday’s fireworks show in Hailey, a cow moose and her young calf did not.

The two were moved out of Hailey just ahead of the fireworks show for fear that the moose might become stressed by the fireworks and charge residents out walking at night to see them.

 
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The cow and calf moose walk along the bank of their new home along Silver Creek.
 

Idaho Fish and Game began receiving numerous reports of the Mom and calf as the Fourth of July approached. The cow moose had been seen for some time in the neighborhood but the newborn calf at her side sparked concern. Cow moose are extremely protective of their young and can seriously injure or kill a human or pet they view as a threat.

Indeed, a neighborhood dog was killed by the moose as it tried to protect her young calf.

Wildlife biologists began to monitor the situation to assess if they could safely relocate the cow moose and her calf while maintaining public safety, said Terry Thompson, public information officer for Fish and Game.

Fish and Game officers concluded that the two were probably attracted to the area by irrigated lawns and landscaping amidst exceptionally dry conditions. Problem was, numerous fences, the highway and a fenced airport stood between them and the Big Wood River where they might access more suitable moose habitat.

“A moose in a neighborhood can be exciting to see. However, a moose taking up residence and birthing a calf in a neighborhood backyard can be extremely dangerous to residents and pets,” said Thompson. “To keep wildlife ‘wild,’ they should not be encouraged to live within our communities.”

In the best of situations, darting wildlife can be stressful to the animals, Thompson added. Weather conditions at the time were extremely hot, which added to the complexity of the situation.

After planning their capture tactics, a team of nine biologists moved into the neighborhood in the early morning hours of July 3, while it was still cool and before the bustle of the holiday had started.

With the permission of a homeowner, the team quickly darted and anesthetize the cow in the backyard. The young calf stayed close to the cow and was easily captured.

Both the cow and calf were loaded into a horse trailer, which served as a moving van, and transported to the Silver Creek area where they were safely released along a creek.

To learn more about how to live safely around urban wildlife,  contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at 208-324-4359.

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