180207moose in central ND near Benedict (copy)

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks game wardens in November euthanized an injured moose that had been wandering through Billings. 

In late November of last year, FWP game wardens were forced to euthanize a moose that had spent the previous weeks limping around midtown Billings. The young bull appeared sick, struggled to walk, and was obviously in extreme pain. Our wildlife health experts determined that it likely wouldn’t survive being tranquilized and relocated to the wild. A necropsy later determined that the bones in both front feet had degenerated, probably because of a severe infection. “That’s not something that would ever heal and would only have gotten worse, causing even more pain,” FWP veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Ramsey told me.

As is often the case when the department has to kill a moose, bear, mountain lion, aggressive buck, or other big game animal, we took some flak. Some people thought we should have left the moose alone and let nature take its course. Others wanted us to return the young bull to the wild or send it to a zoo. Some hunters even said they should have been allowed to hunt the moose—in downtown Billings.

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