Attracting wildlife like moose to your backyard may seem innocent enough until that animal becomes trapped, injured, or a nuisance.
A backyard salt lick designed to bring wildlife in for viewing from the comfort of your own home might sound like a pretty cool idea. However, all you need to do is watch the video below once to understand why it is better to let wild animals stay wild. A Colorado bull moose was recently found itself tangled up in a backyard swing after being attracted to the yard from a salt lick placed there by residents.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is using the disturbing video of the ensuing rescue to educate the public on the dangers of attracting wildlife to residential areas. The video shows a bull moose with his antlers tangled in a swing and struggling to free itself from the rope. The moose struggled for hours until a successful rescue attempt was completed.
“These homeowners told me that they enjoy watching wildlife so they put the salt lick out to attract moose and other animals,” said District Wildlife Manager Tom Davies of Silverthorne in a CPW news release. “The fact that they caused the moose to suffer like it did and putting the officers in such a dangerous situation is a clear example of how irresponsible attracting wildlife to your home or neighborhood can be.”
According to the news release, the wildlife officers finally decided to attempt to subdue the animal using a Taser. This method has been used before on large animals with varying degrees of success and is still being evaluated. The Taser worked to immobilize the animal long enough for a wildlife officer to cut the rope using a knife taped to a long stick.
“It was a difficult and dangerous situation but the Taser worked exactly as we had hoped,” said Davies. “Tranquilization drugs were an option but considering how stressed the moose became during this precarious situation, it would have likely killed the animal. The Taser is proving to be very useful for a situation like this.”
Once it was free, the obviously stressed, yet otherwise unharmed moose briefly charged the CPW officers on the scene before disappearing into the forest. Putting out food and other attractants for wildlife is illegal in Colorado, and this video shows exactly why that law was made.
Although feeding wildlife is a fineable offense, but the offenders in this case were let off with a vert stern warning. After seeing the danger they put both the moose and the CPW officers in, they will likely have learned their lesson. The moose is an incredibly powerful creature and is very dangerous when provoked. Having one in a residential area is a recipe for disaster.
“The video clearly shows how powerful and aggressive a moose can get when it feels threatened,” said Davies. “Although predators in a residential area are a significant concern, little compares to the danger of having a moose near your home.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages readers to learn more about living responsibly near wildlife by reading their Living with Wildlife article.