Flooding in the province has posed a problem for some wildlife.
The Department of Energy and Resource Development have been monitoring the moose in the Jemseg area who were trapped on the highway bridge because of the rising water levels.
Biologist Dwayne Sabine says they managed to move one moose to high ground, but two others weren’t so lucky, “They attempted to move them across, but in the end, they turned out to be too weak. They could really only walk a few steps. One of them was badly injured and the staff made the decision to euthanize those two animals. After examining the situation it was deemed to be the best option in that case.”
Sabine says the first option they look at is moving the animals. Their second option is to immobilize the animals using a tranquilizer dart.
“It’s not as simple as television would make most people think. It can represent a danger to staff, it can represent a danger to the public. Because animals quite often run when they are darted, they are going to run into the water because they are on a narrow strip of highway. The bigger consideration is that they are so weak, they couldn’t handle the extra stress of being drugged,” Sabine says.
He adds safety also has to be taken into consideration.
“Staff assess the situation and they deal with these things on an ongoing basis and they would have looked at all of the available options. It’s not a decision they take likely to euthanize an animal. Staff do not enjoy doing it and it was a last resort,” Sabine adds.
Sabine says at this time of year moose and deer will eat woody twigs, and they are in their worst conditions at this time of year and their weight diminishes through the winter. They remain on that diet until the green vegetation comes out.
“Until that highway closed, they were out in the water, and they couldn’t get warm and dry, and energetically it was very hard on them.”