Moose could get the boot from Steamboat Ski Area | SteamboatToday.com

Moose could get the boot from Steamboat Ski Area

A cow moose and her two calves bed down between the Snow Flower Condominiums and One Steamboat Place.

— Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are making plans to evict a pair of moose that have been causing problems at the Steamboat Ski Area.

Area Wildlife Manager Kris Middledorf said there have been a couple of reports of a cow and calf becoming agitated when people skied by or took pictures of them.

"I wouldn't say aggressive behavior," Middledorf said.

Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said the moose are in danger, because if they hurt a human, wildlife officers would be forced to kill them.

"Any attempt by the public to approach these animals could be devastating," Porras said. "It's really critical that people stay away from them as much as possible."

Middledorf said they have become aware of seven different moose at the ski area, and wildlife officers have been in constant contact with ski area officials.

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It is believed the moose have a preference for hanging out at the ski area because of the deep snow in the woods. At the ski area, moose have been frequenting the trails and gladed areas.

"We think it would be most appropriate to get them a new home," Middledorf said.

To do that, wildlife officers will perform reconnaissance in the area to locate the moose.

"Ultimately, the welfare of these animals is the ultimate concern," Porras said.

Nearby ski trails will be closed while officers attempt to tranquilize the moose, which will then be tagged and examined to ensure they are healthy.

Large tarps or a sled will be used to transport the moose to the base area, where they will be loaded into a trailer.

Middledorf said a tranquilizer reversal would be used to wake the animals before they are taken to their new home, ideally at least 80 or 100 miles away.

"Going up to higher elevations is probably not the most suitable answer," Middledorf said.

In the city, wildlife officials have been monitoring three sets of moose. Two sets have mainly been roaming around the condos. The other has been sticking to downtown.

On Friday, a moose and her two calves were bedded down between One Steamboat Place and Snow Flower Condominiums.

"We haven't had any issues with these animals," Middledorf said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland