Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


RCMP can't confirm moose calf was chased, beaten  

August 12, 2009  Corner Brook Western Star

DEER LAKE, N.L. — Police are having trouble finding witnesses to an incident in which a moose was allegedly chased by three young boys and beaten with sticks Monday in this western Newfoundland community.

A day after giving that version of the incident to police, RCMP said Wednesday the same witnesses have apparently changed their story. "If that moose was harassed, we would like to know," Sgt. Jacques Morneau said. "If it wasn't, we would like to know that, too. I don't know why people would come up with stories initially and then, all of a sudden, backtrack a bit."

That's not to say the police have ruled out the moose was chased, Morneau said. He said RCMP interviewed the boys and several witnesses on Tuesday. They still have two or three more that they want to speak to.

"We are still looking at the witnesses that put these kids at the scene and if, in fact, (the boys) were there and if it was chased by them or not," he said. "But we still have nobody telling us how the moose got there, so we still have some issues with the exact story and how it unfolded." Morneau said it is unusual for a moose to end up in a yard and near death because it is exhausted.

"I'm not a wildlife specialist, but I don't know if it happens in nature that an animal gets so rattled and out of its element that it can get exhausted like that."

Valerie Thorne said the moose wound up in her yard, but she didn't see it enter her property and she didn't see marks or blood to show it had been beaten. If it was chased into her yard, Thorne said, that would be unacceptable. Thorne described how onlookers, including police and conservation officers, watched helplessly for two hours as the animal made several attempts to get up, only to fall back down. "It was pretty tense," she said. "You wanted to help, but there was nothing you could do." She said the crowd was trying to encourage the moose to get up.

"Some were upset nothing was being done to help it, but doing anything might have only done more damage than good. I knew what was going to happen because you could see its eyes turning red and it was foaming at the mouth." When it was decided the moose was beyond recovery, it was put down by a conservation officer. The boys may still face charges under the Wildlife Act if witnesses corroborate the original version of the events.

The incident comes the same week that a British Columbia sport fishing company disciplined an employee after an online video surfaced showing him smacking a dogfish on a ship's deck and throwing it overboard. In another case this week, three Saskatchewan men were charged after a video was posted online showing them illegally shooting ducks and ducklings.

Canada.com Comment: Carmina August 12, 2009, & Aug.13 6:34 am on Care2 - These senseless and cruel crimes against any and all animals have to be severely dealt with by the courts.  I know everyday citizens are outraged by these types of stories and are willing to take matters in their own hands.  The suffering that poor moose calf endured – for shame! 

The Province Comment: Carmina August 12, 2009 7:33 PM - These low-life kids will get what's coming to them.  It's just a matter of when. How anyone could do this to any animal is beyond me.

Comment:  Society has to send a strong message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated!  Show no mercy!

Moose mania too much to take

June 16, 2010 Kelly Egan, The Ottawa Citizen

Moose, generally speaking, don't attack civilians. Death by antler, we understand, is fairly rare. That's the good news.

So, what to do about these lost, gangly souls that keep popping up in the east end of town, in the suburban glades of babbling crescents and craggy garages? There is a meeting this week at which much brainpower will sit around the table -- the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ottawa police, the City of Ottawa -- not to mention a fair bit of firepower, too.

So, our advice is timely: do nothing. Leave the moose alone. Let the moose figure its own way out of Metro Orléans. It got in. It'll get out. It is not going to burst through the patio door or eat the cat.

Yes, indeed, we need massive amounts of tranquilizers nearby. To hand out to the antsy crowd. Good people, chill. Moose are only a hazard after we create one. Put them in a park, surround them with camera clickers and moms and children and teens on bikes and police and, voilà, the great beast is a danger. Worse yet, shoot it with a pair of ineffective tranquilizers, make it bleed, and now we have an injured, adrenalin-pumped Bullwinkle trying to frantically escape through this weird, unrecognizable terrain.

Look out, it's a dangerous moose! Better corner it! Better shoot it! Here's the secret thing about wild animals. They're wild. They're animals. They don't behave predictably. I once covered a story about a moose that, overnight, moved into a farmer's field near Ste-Anne-de-Prescott. It must have enjoyed the company of cows. It stayed for more than six weeks.

The point being that police, in particular, haven't got all day or all week to babysit an 800-pound animal that doesn't seem to know where it's going. So, what to do? Well, after shooting dead two moose in two separate episodes, how about something different? Everybody points to tranquilization as the answer. Well, everybody watches too much TV.

Spoke to Rick Watchorn, the area supervisor for the Kemptville office of the Ministry of Natural Resources. He pointed out some problems with the "immobilization" of such a large mammal. First of all, there is considerable training involved before personnel are able to handle the firearm and the restricted drugs that are usually used. At the moment, few people have it.

Then there is the problem of actually administering the right drug in the right dosage. "Shooting a moving animal in the right spot to deliver an accurate dose is very difficult." If you miss, what of the missing dart? Once the animal is tranquilized, there is the issue of "after-care protocol," meaning how to safely handle the beast while loading it, transporting it, and releasing it in its new home.

I also wondered about one other thing: How do you know the moose doesn't come back next week? Then what? Hit restart? "It's not as easy as walking up and shooting it with a dart and it falls over," Watchorn said.

In any case, MNR's position has not changed, despite the public indignation that followed the pair of moose shootings. It does not see itself as an animal retrieval service, nor will it respond to a wildlife problem in your backyard. "We don't manage individual animals." The sole exception is bears, because they are deemed to be a greater threat to humans.

Donna DuBreuil is president of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre. She, too, thinks giving the animal a suitable period to return to the wild is the best first option. "It didn't arrive by helicopter. It's going to wander in the same route it came out. Those moose were not posing any immediate threat to people." She believes the City of Ottawa needs a comprehensive strategy on how to deal with wildlife, period, rather than taking ad hoc measures to deal with specific species, be it moose, deer or coyotes. "We've always said the police shouldn't be involved. Except to do crowd control."

Dr. Dan Rodgers, a veterinarian with some 33 years experience, is a vice-president of the wildlife centre. He has been following the coverage of the moose encounters with some dismay. "Everybody is frustrated because everybody is passing the buck," he said Tuesday. "Somebody has to step up to the plate."

Police Chief Vern White has been tasked with finding a solution. An unenviable job. One imagines a police wildlife unit, but where are the lines drawn? Bears, coyotes, moose, strangely-behaving raccoons? You know, before we try doing everything for everyone, maybe we should ask whether we have the courage to do nothing. Just let them be.

Unbelievably, the Ottawa Citizen reported on June 16th: Third loose moose shot and killed by police in Ottawa area  

(Excerpt) Another moose wandering through a residential area has been shot and killed, this time by police in Rockland. Ontario Provincial Police said the moose was spotted around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday near St. Jacques Street. Efforts were made to locate a tranquilizer gun but none was available, said OPP Sgt. Mike Fortier.

Comment: People are such idiots. It looks like we won’t be satisfied until we’ve destroyed every living being.  What are we teaching our kids by behaving in such a heartless and despicable manner? No wonder bullying and violence is so rampant among young people.

As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.  Pythagoras

August 5, 2014 Chasing moose in a truck results in heavy fines

Comment: What disgusting, pathetic, bullying lowlifes. The punishment meted out by the courts never fits the crime. $2000.00 & $1500.00 respectively are not “hefty” fines. Really, we need more people taking matters into their own hands, sending a strong message that this behaviour is unacceptable. The legal system is expected to respond to changing values and concerns within society. It does not lead.

FBI to Start Tracking Animal Cruelty Cases; will classify animal abuse as a top-tier felony

Provincial SPCA Cruelty Investigators are responsible for the enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1-855-622-7722 and Wildlife issues are the responsibility of the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service.

Read more under our Animal Law page

Bears pay ultimate price of human action while man most dangerous of all; letters; 'trophy' victims

"A fresh obligation is laid on each of us to do as much good as we possibly can to all creatures in all sorts of circumstances."  Albert Schweitzer

Action, not apathy!