Tails closed due to moose

A moose is on the loose in Missoula with wildlife officials confirming several sightings of a cow and her calf roaming through the Rattlesnake area.

Fish, Wildlife, and Parks workers said the animals have been spotted at Tom Green, Pineview, and Greenough Parks.

While it's pretty common to see wildlife like deer in town, moose sightings are not that common.

FWP closed some of the trails as these moose move through Missoula. 

FWP's Information Manager, Vivaca Crowser, said her agency has taken multiple calls this week of a mother moose and her calf in the Rattlesnake.

While winter's coming to an end, Crowser thinks winter is taking its toll on wildlife in the area, as they search for food and avoid the snow.   

"I think moose are just looking for a place where there is less snow and a little bit more food, so they're browsing what they can. They're able to find things in the valley bottoms that they couldn't, that would be buried in higher elevations. So they are just looking for food and shelter to get through the last few weeks of winter," explained Crowser.

But, these big creatures aren't necessarily the animal you'll want to cross paths with, so FWP closed several trails in Greenough Park to curb the amount of human interaction with the moose.

There was also a handwritten note that stated the moose had charged at someone.

Amy Ragsdale said she's lived near Greenough Park for 24 years and her weekly walks around the park will be put on pause until the area is clear.

"Moose are a big deal. I mean I think you know they're one of the animals I think that people have the most trouble with. You know in terms of real injury with encounters with wildlife. That's my impression," said Ragsdale.

The warning is not just for people, but dog owners to keep their pets on a leash near these areas. 

For now, FWP is waiting on warmer temperatures to get these moose back in the wild.

"In the meantime we're keeping an eye on it. If there's any opportunity for us to haze the moose back out of these more populated areas we'll do that but that's really about all we can do at this point," said Crowser.

Again, it's really important to avoid walking on the trails that are closed to keep yourself safe.

There's caution signs at several trailheads throughout the rattlesnake, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these trail closures as well as that moose and her calf.  

News For You