Moose Stuck in Channel Out of Options

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A moose that was stranded in four feet of water in an irrigation channel in Pasco, Washington, was killed. The bull moose found himself in this situation, and Franklin County sheriff's officers and firefighters were trying to push him back out of the channel; they threw rocks, tried making loud noises, used hoses to scare him back the way he came, but the moose didn't budge.

Wildlife Officer Brian Felton said they ran out of options to try to get the moose out, and tranquilizing was not an option. He shot the moose with a shotgun blast. The moose was then towed out of the channel. Volunteers from Richland Rod and Gun Club dressed the carcass to deliver the meat to the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission. From The Seattle Times.


hunter25's picture

Looks like an interesting

Looks like an interesting prediacament and a lot of controversy on this one. I do agree they probably could have done more and did in fact take the easiest solution to the problem. But since they did make good use of the meat and ended the situation quickly then I guess it's all for the best. Maybe some one involved knew how badly the meat was needed and pushed for this solution. Too bad the moose had to die but at least it was for a good cause.

Retired2hunt's picture

Need More of the Article

Here is the link to the complete article as it will answer the questions you have...

According to the article it is a special tranquilizer that is needed and it is also very poisonous to humans... and not readily available. And if tranquilized the animal would have most likely drowned.

The canal the animal fell into had a 20 to 25 foot cement slope (picture of it and the animal is in the article) and was five miles long - making it almost impossible to hoist a 1000 pound animal up safely without hurting the animal.

Bottom line - they did use the meat and humanely killed it.



groovy mike's picture

Thanks for the link

Thanks for the link Retired2hunt.  I read the article and clicked through the 21 photographs.  The article says that they reached out for advice but no one could come up with a solution.  Apparantly no one considered leaving the moose alone until it walked out in a week or two if necessary, or dumping a load of logs or similar fill into the ditch so that the moose could walk out of the water and up a gradula ramp to the surface level at his own pace when all the people were gone.  

Even if they chose to tranquilize him, there was no urgency in doing so.  There was certainly time to send for teh tranquilizer.

In the photos the moose did not appear to be distressed or in any danger.  Starvation takes a long long time.  These folks were impatient and took the quick, easy route.  At least the meat was used, but they certainly did not consider all the options before pulling the trigger.

groovy mike's picture

I don't understand that at all

Whiel I'm glad they used the meat I don't understand that at all.  Why would you kill the moose?  There were plenty of options besides tranquilizing and throwing rocks! 

Why not tear down some portion of the side wall of the ditch?  Why not drain it? Why not use a sling to lift the moose (yes this CAN be done without actually getting in harms way - just use a rope to drag the sling under by putting it in teh water ahead or behind the moose....).

Wasn't there anyone within 500 miles who knew how to handle a large animal?  No cattle ranchers or horse owners or veternarians?  Either there are a lot of details that we aren't being told or someone was really negligent in this.  Maybe both.

SGM's picture

That sucks they had to kill

That sucks they had to kill it but at least it did not go to waste.  

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is too bad to hear, but

That is too bad to hear, but I am sure they did all they could do to try and save the moose.  Hopefullt they were able to save the meat and donate it all to a good cause...alot of good prime meat there and alot of people could use it and would enjoy it alot.