The state Department of Environmental Conservation today killed a moose that had lingered in the Wilmington Notch and drawn much public attention over the past few days.
DEC spokesman Dave Winchell told the Enterprise that his agency assessed the moose today and determined it had significant injuries to both of its hind legs and that its condition was deteriorating. It has essentially been in the same spot of the West Branch of the AuSable River since Saturday.
"It is unlikely the moose would have been able to remove itself from the ravine and the animal most likely would have died there," Winchell told the Enterprise in an email. "Removal of the moose while it was alive was unsafe for both the moose and people involved in that activity.
A moose stands in the West Branch of the AuSable River in the Wilmington Notch this morning.
(Photo — Richard Gonyea)
"In addition, the moose created a public safety concern with people and vehicles traveling the narrow road through the Wilmington Notch. The mix of cars stopping in the road, people on foot on the road and moving vehicles with people looking for the moose and not watching the road created unsafe conditions. A number of near collisions have occurred."
Winchell said euthanizing wildlife is always the last resort.
The moose's carcass has been transported to the DEC Pathology Laboratory in Delmar, near Albany, for evaluation.