A loose moose in Markham has become a local sensation

moose on a Markham street [Credit: Twitter/Rguo19]

Residents of Markham, Ontario, took to social media Friday to share photos and videos of a surprise visitor: a moose that had apparently lost its way.

The moose, while fast, isn’t exactly stealthy, and was spotted by many Markham residents as it ran through residential streets and near the highway. Twitter user @imjustbonniie took a video of the moose’s mad dash through a parking lot.

The Ontario Provincial Police are currently attempting to catch the moose so they can return it to its habitat, but capturing such a large (and speedy) animal will have its challenges.

“You have immobilize it. You’re talking about an animal that’s 1,400 lbs,” Toronto Zoo’s wildlife care manager, Eric Cole, told the CBC. “It’s sheer power and it’s not used to human contact. You can’t throw nets on it, so it needs to be tranquilized,”

According to Cole, the moose has probably wandered far from home. He says moose tend to live further north, around Peterborough or Algonquin Park. “It’s very unusual for it to come this far south,” he said. “He’s come quite a bit out of his natural habitat.”

Several other Markham residents posted videos of the moose online throughout the day, using the hashtag #mooseontheloose. In fact, people were so eager to track its movements that CTV Toronto started a live feed of video from a chopper that was tracking the moose.

In most videos, the seemingly untireable moose was keeping up its brisk pace.

While many Markham residents have been approaching the situation lightheartedly, the OPP wants people to be aware thatk the moose does pose a safety risk.

“This is a serious issue. We certainly don’t want the animal to get hurt. We don’t want anyone in the public, any drivers, to get hurt,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told the CBC.

The Ministry of Natural Resources hopes they will soon be able to sedate the animal and move it back up to Central Ontario. Until then, the moose will hopefully stay in the ravine where it has retreated for a hard-earned rest.

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