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Bull moose behind fence at B.C. airport feasts on fresh trees before coaxed to leave

Last Updated Mar 9, 2021 at 5:22 pm PDT

A moose stands in a clearing in Franconia, N.H. in an Aug.21, 2010 file photo. New Brunswick officials are the latest to chime in on the issue of drone use in hunting as the province's moose hunt kicks off. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jim Cole, File

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — A bull moose that managed to wander inside the fenced perimeter at the Prince George, B.C., airport ended up staying after finding itself alone in what an animal researcher says was an untouched “Garden of Eden.”

University of Northern B.C. ecosystem science researcher Roy Rea says conservation officers, airport fire crews and university scientists teamed up to coax the moose through an open fence after the animal spent several weeks at the airport feasting on fresh tree growth.

He says the young bull never came near the airport runway but it had to be moved for the safety of airport operations and the animal itself.

Rea says a camera-grid system he’s had at the airport since 2007 to document wildlife in the forested area alerted him to the presence of the moose.

He says the bull is about four years old and being able to successfully escort it from the airport gives the animal a chance to increase declining moose populations in the area.

The moose was spotted in late November and wasn’t convinced to leave until January, but it was only this month that the researchers revealed their wrangling success.

In March 2015, a small aircraft with two people on board hit and killed a moose that appeared from behind a snowbank on the runway of the airport at nearby Fort St. James.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press