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Moose on the loose

"Our camera data shows they are mostly around the periphery of town to the east and west."
Moose have been licking vehicles in Kananaskis Country.
Moose have been known to lick salt from vehicles in Kananaskis Country.

CANMORE – A rare sighting of a moose has been reported in Canmore.

On Friday (May 13), a moose was spotted in the forest along the edge of the Three Sisters Parkway.

“Our camera data shows they are mostly around the periphery of town to the east and west,” said John Paczkowski, an ecologist with Alberta Parks in Kananaskis Country.

“Occasionally we get one coming through town though.”

More than 20 years ago, a moose showed up in the Home Hardware storage yard, and in more recent years, there were sightings at Quarry Lake as a female moose and her calf returned daily.

Moose are found throughout the wooded areas of Alberta but are quite rare from the Vermillion Lakes in Banff National Park down to the confluence of the Kananaskis and Bow rivers.

Sightings are more common in Kananaskis Country, including Peter Lougheed and Spray Lakes provincial parks.

A study in the 1990s concluded there wasn’t a definable Bow Valley moose population, but rather a constant trickle of dispersing individuals arriving in the valley from adjacent watersheds.

Moose, built to move easily through any terrain, are mainly preyed upon by wolves and bears.

They are strong swimmers with long legs to help them cross any landscape. An adult moose can weigh between 800 to 1,200 pounds.

Due to their large size, moose can be dangerous when they feel threatened.

Typically, moose are not aggressive; however, a moose that is under stress, a bull moose in the fall rut or a cow moose protecting her young may be easily provoked.