BURLEY, Idaho (KIFI) - Fish and Game biologists continue to respond to reports of yearling moose that find themselves in and around Magic Valley communities, especially in the Burley area. Over the past week, two yearling moose were found in areas that presented potential public safety concerns to residents and vehicles on area roads.
On Sunday, June 25, a yearling moose was reported to be dangerously close to Interstate 84 near the Burley exit. With Interstate 84 seeing heavy weekend traffic combined with highway speeds local law enforcement along with Fish and Game staff attempted to keep the moose from running into interstate traffic. The moose was very stressed, and it repeatedly ran dangerously close to vehicle traffic along the interstate, as well as running into nearby residential neighborhoods and local businesses.
The moose became increasingly agitated and had repeated close contacts with vehicles and residents. Fish and Game then made the decision to put the moose down once it was in an area that allowed for the action to be taken safely.
“It was unfortunate that Fish and Game staff were unable to dart the moose with anesthetizing drugs over the weekend. Drugs often don’t work as expected with highly agitated wildlife, which could have made this situation even more unsafe for area motorists and residents. Ultimately, the behavior of the moose required staff to act accordingly to prevent injury to residents and passing motorists," Regional Wildlife Biologist Jake Powell said.
The moose is being processed by a local meat processor, and the meat will be donated to Idaho Hunters Feeding the Hungry. This organization is a statewide non-profit who work with area food banks to provide protein to Idahoans in need who are faced with food insecurity.
A second yearling moose was found the following day, June 26, also along Interstate 84 near Burley. Fish and Game staff were able to successfully dart and anesthetize the moose and safely relocate the moose to a suitable area in the Jarbidge Mountains.
Fish and Game would like to thank the Idaho State Police, Cassia County Sheriff deputies and officers from the Heyburn Police Department for their assistance with both of these situations. These situations with both yearling moose were in areas where public safety was the over-riding concern and assistance from local law enforcement was critical in keeping the public safe.
If residents throughout the Magic Valley Region see a moose in or near communities or near high-traffic areas, they are encouraged to notify the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359 or to contact their local law enforcement agency.