SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The University of Utah had a wild visitor Friday when an 18-month-old bull moose showed up on campus.
Students and employees first spotted the moose around 8 a.m. near the Chapel Glenn area of campus. U of U employee Annalisa Purser said she was walking to her office when she noticed the four-legged companion.
“As I was walking, I heard some clops walking past me,” Purser said. “I got off my phone and looked up, and this moose was just running right past me.”
The moose mostly stayed in one spot while Utah Division of Wildlife Resource officers responded to tranquilize him. Officer Mike Roach said it took longer than normal for officers to arrive because they were already working on tranquilizing a bear in Utah County.
Once they tried to tranquilize the moose, however, it ran.
"We’ve found that with these young animals, they get a little skittish,” Roach said. “There’s obviously a lot of people, and cars and stuff around here, and he got spooked.”
The moose ran about three-quarters of a mile downhill to the campus of the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, where officers were finally able to tranquilize the young bull and load him into a trailer.
“As far as I know there was no damage done to any of the vehicles or the facilities here,” Roach said. “Which is always amazing because they’re not a small critter.”
DWR officers released the moose in the mountains of Utah County, where he’ll help bolster the population there.
Another moose was spotted at the Utah State Capitol Building grounds a week ago. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources relocated that moose, and U of U officials said they will also assist with the one found on campus Friday.