Moose get the boot, moved to Craig
February 23, 2017
Steamboat Springs — Three moose were napping on The Steamboat Grand's front yard Thursday, while another set was exploring their new home north of Craig.
On Feb. 8, Colorado Parks and Wildlife moved a cow moose and two calves from condos in Ski Time Square.
"They were in a really bad spot between two condos," area wildlife manager Kris Middledorf said.
Moose are arguably the most dangerous wildlife to humans in the Steamboat Springs area, but Middledorf said these particular moose had not been showing any aggression.
"It's a matter of the animals being in a bad place with a lot of the public around," Middledorf said.
Wildlife officers used a tranquilizer gun to put the moose to sleep.
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Tranquilizing moose can be dangerous to both wildlife officers and the animals.
"It went very well," Middledorf said.
The cow went down first and laid on its chest. The calves went to sleep nearby.
When moose are tranquilized, Middledorf said, they are susceptible to respiratory issues. A shot was administered into their tongues to stimulate their respiratory systems.
Tags were then put in their ears, and heavy-duty tarps were used to drag the moose into a trailer.
The cow was estimated to weigh 800 pounds.
A reversal drug was then used to wake the moose up before they were hauled to Craig.
Earlier this month, Parks and Wildlife had plans to relocate moose that had been lounging on Steamboat Ski Area trails and showing defensive behavior. They have not been relocated.
There are still concerns about those moose but no immediate plans to move them.
"It depends on the situation," Middledorf said.
Wildlife officers did the planning work necessary, which meant coordinating with slope maintenance, mountain operations and ski patrol.
"It was a very collaborative effort between two organizations," Middledorf said.