Press Release

Cow and calf moose relocated out of Hailey neighborhood to Silver Creek

A cow and calf moose, while enjoyable to see in a neighborhood, should not be encouraged to live in our communities.

Numerous reports of a cow moose with a very young calf in a Hailey neighborhood began to come into Fish and Game’s Magic Valley Regional office shortly before the July 4th holiday weekend. The cow moose had been seen for some time in the same area of Hailey, but the addition of the calf prompted concerns about the pair living in close proximity to families and pets. Cow moose are extremely protective of their young and can seriously injure or kill anything they view as a threat.

Wildlife biologists began to monitor the situation to assess if they could safely relocate the cow moose and her calf while maintaining public safety. A variety of factors contributed to the decision to relocate these particular moose. The moose were very close to where the City of Hailey would be putting on their July 4th fireworks show, which could bring a fireworks-stressed moose in close contact where local residents would be out walking in their neighborhoods at night. Second, the exceptionally dry conditions likely contributed to the cow and calf taking up residence in neighborhoods with their irrigated lawns and landscaping. And finally, numerous fences, the highway and the fenced airport separated the moose from safely getting to the Big Wood River, preventing them from accessing more suitable moose habitat.

hailey_cow_and_calf_moose_july_2021
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Idaho Fish and Game

Cow and calf moose in a Hailey neighborhood.

In the best of situations, darting wildlife can be stressful to the animals. Weather conditions at the time were extremely hot, which added to the complexity of the situation. Additionally, biologists had to find, dart and safely move the moose out of a neighborhood, which brings an additional level of complexity to the situation.

A moose in a neighborhood can be exciting to see. However, a moose taking up residence and birthing a calf in a neighborhood backyard can be extremely dangerous to residents and pets. To keep wildlife “wild”, they should not be encouraged to live within our communities. Unfortunately a neighborhood dog succumbed to injuries received from this moose who was protecting her young calf.

After planning their capture tactics, the team of nine biologists moved into the neighborhood in the early morning hours of July 3, before air temperatures rose and the bustle of neighborhood activities started over the holiday weekend.

With permission of a homeowner, the team was able to quickly dart and anesthetize the cow in their backyard. The young calf stayed close to the cow and was easily captured.

prepping_a_cow_moose_for_carrying_hailey_july_2021
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Idaho Fish and Game

After darting the cow moose, biologists work to carry the moose out of a neighborhood backyard.

Both the cow and calf were loaded into a horse trailer and transported to the Silver Creek area where they were safely released along a creek.

cow_and_calf_moose_silver_creek_july_2021
Creative Commons Licence
Idaho Fish and Game

Relocated to the Silver Creek area, the cow and calf moose walk along the bank of the creek.

To learn more about how to live safely around urban wildlife contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.