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Moose that traveled about 40 miles down Front Range captured in Thornton

Wildlife officials tranquilized the 700-pound female moose and relocated it to the mountains.

THORNTON, Colo. — A young moose that wandered down from the high country four days ago saw its Front Range odyssey come to an end Wednesday morning.

Wildlife officials tranquilized the 2-year-old cow moose about 8 a.m. near Todd Creek Golf Course in Thornton and loaded it into a trailer for relocation to the Pike National Forest, said Jason Clay, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

The young moose weighed about 700 pounds. An adult female moose weighs about 800 to 900 pounds, Clay said.

Wildlife officials respond to one or two instances per year of a moose on the Front Range, he said.

The moose are usually young. They end up following a creek or river down from the high country, foraging as they go, and don't realize they've moved into a less-than-ideal habitat.

This moose came down Sunday from Boulder Canyon, according to CPW. It was spotted Sunday evening near 30th Street and Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, close to the University of Boulder campus.

By Monday, the moose had made its way east to the Lafayette/Erie area.

It was spotted Tuesday evening even farther east, in the area of Washington Street and the Northwest Parkway.

On Wednesday morning, it wandered into a neighborhood near Todd Creek Golf Course, where it was finally captured for relocation.

Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Wildlife officials move a tranquilized moose into a trailer for relocation on Wednesday morning near Todd Creek Golf Course in Thornton.
Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
A young cow moose lies tranquilized in a trailer for relocation to Pike National Forest. The moose was caught Wednesday morning in Thornton.

he moose was released in the high country Wednesday afternoon.

Moose encounters with people are common, but moose can injure people and pets that get too close. CPW offers the following suggestions on how to be safe around moose:

  • Never approach a moose too closely. Watch and photograph from a safe distance.
  • Move slowly and not directly at them.
  • Back off if they show signs of aggression, such as the hair on their neck standing up, licking their snout, cocking their head and rolling their eyes and ears back.

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