As winter drags on, it continues to be common to spot moose wandering our streets and eating out of our gardens.
That’s why it’s important to know how to share the outdoors with the animals, and to keep your family safe.
Conservation Officer (CO) Kyle Ackles, who covers the Bulkley/Stikine Zone, said they are aware of multiple moose throughout the community, adding it is something that is common living in the north.
“When they come into town there’s, as you can imagine, not nearly as many predators because the wolves don’t come into town,” he said, also pointing to shallow snow in town that makes traveling for them easier.
Access to food is also easier for them within town.
“It’s just something we’re always going to have here in Smithers.”
While moose consistently look like they’re just waking up, they can in fact be quite dangerous to the average non-observant pedestrian.
“When it really becomes dangerous is when someone who’s maybe walking their dog or a child walking to school or anyone walking the street and daydreaming as they’re walking, and they walk in between the cow and the calf. The cow will become quite protective.”
Violent moose isn’t something he has been aware of in this area, but it’s not unheard of in other parts. He said there have been incidents in Alaska moose have stomped on people who got between a calf and a cow.
“In this area in B.C. I’ve never heard of any incidents of that but it’s important for people to know they are wild animals, for one, and they won’t distinguish us from another predator,” said Ackles.
One can tell a moose is getting irritated when the hairs above their front shoulders stand up and they lower their head. They’ll display other aggressive actions as well such as stomping the ground and even charging — a point when it should be clear how the animal feels.
And whatever you do, do not corner the animals.
“If they have nowhere to go, and the only way to go is towards you, then they’re going to get aggressive.”