Agitated moose on campus killed to avoid run in with students

Having a college campus in Anchorage means sharing campus with wildlife residents that were here before the buildings, streets and sprawling parking lots. Most common of those residents are the moose. When a moose moseys onto campus, it is University Police policy to dispatch an officer to monitor it. In this way, if a moose becomes agitated or angry, an officer will be nearby to prevent any disasters.

Officers were forced to shoot a bull moose on Oct. 15 after it was deemed a threat to people on campus.

At about 1 p.m. officers responded to the Amenities building where a moose was entangled in fencing material. Immediately officers recognized that the moose was agitated and Fish and Game was officers were called.

“Police cordoned off the area, but after ten minutes the moose started moving over a knoll toward the Arts building, still in a very agitated state,” UPD Police Chief Dale Pittman said in an e-mail addressed to the UAA community.

UPD has the authority to use deadly force if there is a threat to campus safety. They do not however, have the means or training to use tranquilizers. Fish and Game was contacted when the moose was recognized as a possible threat, but they were more than an hour and a half out, said Pittman.

The moose began to move towards the Art building, still with nylon tape and four-foot wood stakes entangled in its antlers.

“The decision was made to dispatch [shoot] the animal before it worked its way to a more populated area where it would become an imminent threat to the public,” Pittman said.

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“We do not like having to use deadly force, even on animals, and we did not want to in this case. However, in the interest of campus safety, this difficult decision was made,” he said.

The moose was given to a charitable organization and the meat will be given to those in need.