About the recent spike in moose sightings in Kelowna…

A young moose was seen in a Rutland neighbourhood on Sunday, May 10, 2015.
Image Credit: Amy Eder

KELOWNA – Two separate moose encounters in Kelowna have made the news in the last couple weeks, and several more sightings have been reported to WildSafe B.C. during that time, but is the number of moose sightings this year any different from last?

Conservation B.C. spokesperson Barb Leslie says it isn't.

According to her, ten moose sightings were reported within the city limits between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015. Two of those happened in April, making the rate of their appearance roughly the same this year. 

“We don’t get a lot of moose sightings reported to us,” she says. “But they do travel and... it’s not hard for them to wander into town.”

On May 1 of this year, RCMP were forced to shoot a moose after it was hit by a truck on Harvey Avenue. Less than two weeks later a reader sent in photos of a juvenile moose wandering the streets of Rutland on a Sunday morning.

Leslie says it’s not uncommon for healthy moose to venture out of the forest and into the city. She says when they do come into residential areas it’s usually for the same reason humans might go out of town to try a new restaurant.

“What they’re usually doing is following the new vegetation because it’s higher in protein rates,” she says. “They browse on shrubbery and the grass is a little bit greener in the valley bottom than it is in some other areas.”

She says the best course of action if you do spot a moose in your area is leave it alone.

“Normally they’re very docile as a rule,” she says. “If you see one in your back yard just make noise and stay away from it. It will move on.”

For more information on wildlife encounters, Wildsafe B.C. has an interactive map that keeps track of sightings as well as information on how to avoid drawing them in.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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