Last spotted on the marsh headed away from town
© Eric Sparling - Amherst Daily News
This wayward moose visited Amherst early Monday morning before heading back to the marsh.
FORT LAWRENCE – A wayward bull moose is back in its natural habitat after briefly causing a commotion in downtown Amherst early Monday.
After several hours, officials from Natural Resources were able to entice the moose across LaPlanche Street and out on to the marsh north of town.
Sgt. Robert MacPherson of the Amherst Police Department said the moose wandered into town shortly after 7 a.m. with numerous sightings in the downtown area as well as on Albion and Rambler Street.
“Our officers did the best they could to corral him and direct him back to the marsh,” MacPherson said.
MacPherson said moose sometimes come into town late at night or very early in the morning, but added it’s “very unusual” for them to be seen in down during the day.
“It can become a public safety issue in that it’s a traffic hazard,” he said. “Fortunately he made his way back out of town without incident.”
The Isthmus of Chignecto is a natural corridor for moose going from New Brunswick into Nova Scotia and vice versa. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been purchasing land in the isthmus to protect the corridor for moose and other species.
It’s not known what could have drawn the moose into town.
Bruce Nunn, spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, said his agency was alerted early in the day.
“We had a report at seven this morning,” said Nunn.
The sighting placed the animal – a bull, Nunn confirmed – in the vicinity of Exit 3 off Highway 104.
Nunn said a handful of DNR employees from the Oxford office were on the scene and a helicopter, usually based out of Shubenacadie, was in the air, with a biologist onboard.
“(DNR) takes this kind of thing very seriously,” said Nunn.
An animal close to the highway spells potential danger for the moose as well as motorists.
“Mainland moose in Nova Scotia are a protected species,” he said.
He couldn’t confirm the animal’s age or speculate on the origins of a small, red (apparent) wound observed on the animal’s neck in photos.
One of the local residents who had a close encounter with the bull was Andrew Hurley.
“I was coming to work,” said Hurley.
He spotted the animal on Albion Street, near the fire hall, as he drove to work at The Brick. While at work, he became aware of the moose’s presence in the sod fields on the other side of LaPlanche Street.
The animal crossed the road and was behind the furniture outlet shortly after 9:30, said Hurley.
The animal’s visit was prolonged. Hurley said he took video of the helicopter around 11:30 a.m.
The Brick employee said the animal was young. He thought two to three years was a good estimate.
(With files from Darrell Cole)