SPOKANE, Wash. – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reports a significant increase in calls for service surrounding moose sightings in Spokane and Lincoln counties.
Just last week, a Fish and Wildlife team decided to relocate a young moose that became habituated to humans who were feeding it near the business center near Highway 195 and Cheney-Spokane Road.
Region 1 enforcement sergeant Mike Sprecher said the yearling likely would have survived if it were left alone. Instead, people fed it and it became habituated to humans. It kept returning to the plaza where people were leaving out food for it.
“And then it started becoming more aggressive in approaching people that were visiting the grocery store, the restaurant, the latte stand,” Sprecher said. “So at that point, we decided it wasn’t gonna leave on its own because the food had been placed out.”
The wildlife enforcement officers and wildlife biologists decided to relocate the moose into southern Pend Oreille County, which has a high moose population. Sprecher said it was the young moose’s best chance at learning from other moose about living in the woods.
But relocated a moose is usually a “last-resort” move for wildlife officials. Usually the best way to get a moose to return to its normal habitat is to leave it alone, they say.
For more tips on living with moose and what to do if you see a moose in your neighborhood, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s page on moose.