Moose on the loose near busy southern Ontario highway
Friday, November 24, 2017, 7:59 PM - A moose that was spotted trotting across busy streets and residential spaces in Markham, Ontario Friday, hasn't been spotted since 3 p.m., officials say.
Wildlife officers called off the search as night began to fall. Experts believe the moose is still in the area, and may have either fallen asleep or found its way back to a safer area.
On Friday, helicopters captured footage of the moose walking around a wooded area near Buttonville Airport close to Highway 404, south of 16th avenue, around 7 a.m. It trotted across Woodbine Avenue, coming into close contact with two vehicles before making it to the other side.
Witnesses say the moose even took a stroll down a few runways at the active airport.
“It is a traffic safety hazard. We did have the highway shut down temporarily just when he was on the highway side of the fence,” OPP officer Kerry Schmidt told CP24.
“We just don’t want him getting hurt and we certainly don’t want anyone else on the road to get hurt.”
Police and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) are monitoring the area and advising residents and motorists to be cautious. No injuries have been reported but Sgt. Scott Hunter of the OPP told The Toronto Star the moose had caused several car accidents, as well as some broken windows and smashed fences.
MNR said anyone who sees the animal should not approach.
It's rare for a moose to make an appearance in such a busy urban area, but the animals are more active this time of year because it's mating season.
Officials are armed with tranquilizers, but they're hoping to coax the animal into a safer space without having to use them.
Once the moose is caught it will likely be transferred further north, possibly to the Muskoka area.
Around noon, helicopters spotted the moose taking a break at a ravine. It then wandered into a residential area, where it was seen hopping over fences.
This story is still developing. Check back for updates.
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