Sadly, then he ran into the street, where a passing car hit him, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Weber State security officers, the Ogden Police Department and Utah’s Division of Wildlife had tried to persuade the big guy to turn around and go home. But the moose had other ideas.
The car sustained minor damage. The moose, however, was gravely injured and had to be euthanized.
Still, before he died, the animal passed several hours in the campus duck pond. And he drew the admiration of many humans on campus.
Moose Was First of its Kind to Visit Campus
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources guessed the moose was 18 to 24 months old, per the Tribune. And the young bull was the first of its kind to visit campus in a long while.
“In the 13 years I’ve been here, this is my first encounter with a moose,” Weber State Police Chief Seth Cawley told the Tribune. “We had a bobcat that was wandering up in our stadium area several years ago. But as far as moose or other large animals, this is the first that I know of.”
DWR officials said the young bull likely came down from the hills after being pushed out by an older bull moose. Moose breeding season runs from late September through early October.
“The big, older bull moose are looking for cows,” DWR spokesman Mark Hadley told the Tribune. “They chase the younger, smaller bull moose away from the cows and off the mountain… That is likely what happened.”
During moose breeding season, human-moose encounters tend to become more frequent. Hadley warns people to steer clear of the animals, however.
“They can be very, very aggressive. They’re big. They’re strong. And they can easily outrun a person,” he added. “If a moose decides to charge you, it’s going to run you down… Don’t get close. Don’t cause the moose to think you’re posing a threat.”
Weber State Is Overrun with Another Kind of Animal
While the moose ultimately did not cause any problems on campus, except for himself, Weber State faces another animal invasion from a smaller but no more appropriate species.
Abandoned domestic birds – primarily ducks and geese – have become a bit of an issue on campus.
“Folks see that we’ve got this beautiful body of water, and they come and drop off their animals,” Weber State spokeswoman Allison Barlow Hess told the Tribune. “And they don’t belong here.”
The birds don’t always make it, between dogs, cars and insufficient food. So this Sept. 8, the university drained the pond. Then Wasatch Domestic Waterfowl Resource showed up, and its volunteers carted 60 ducks and geese from the pond to local foster homes until the resource can find homes for them.
It’s better that way, campus officials said. The campus isn’t a very hospitable habitat for them and this way the birds, unlike the moose, have a shot at survival.