Moose Visits School

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Animal spent time relaxing on field before it was relocated

(Dave Choate and Alison Ladd, Staff Reporters, contributed to this story.)

Portsmouth Herald, Wednesday, October 20, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of The Portsmouth Herald and Seacoast Online.]
A moose sauntered around the Hampton Academy playground.
[Courtesy photo by Erica Nardone. Not in original article.]

HAMPTON -- A bull moose who paid surprise visits to a junior high school and fire station Tuesday afternoon was tranquilized and relocated to a less congested area.

According to Hampton Academy Principal David O'Connor, the moose sauntered onto the athletic field at about 9:30 a.m. For the next three hours, he lay there before moving toward Winnacunnet Road and the Hampton Fire Station at about 12:30 p.m., according to O'Connor. During that time, New Hampshire Fish & Game conservation officer Josiah Towne arrived and called in wildlife biologists from Concord.

Towne said he and the Police Department in Hampton had received numerous reports over the last four days of the moose wandering on residential streets, creating concerns he could be hit by a car. It's not unusual for moose to wander in the fall, he said.

"This time of the year, they're in the rut, which is their breeding season," Towne explained. "They're a little bit more mobile, looking for the cow moose."

When the moose walked into the woods near the fire station, the biologists, conservation officers and police tranquilized it for transport. As of Tuesday evening, Towne said officials had moved the moose, which Fish & Game said appeared to be healthy, and all had gone smoothly.

"The stars just aligned for us," he said.

The moose was said to be 21/2-3 years old, male and eight to nine feet tall. It was moved to a wooded habitat about an hour north, according to Towne, with help from Hampton police, fire officials and Public Works crews, and was able to walk out of the trailer on its own.

O'Connor said no one was hurt at the school and students were not allowed outside while the moose was on the field as a precaution.

A bull moose was tranquilized and relocated after visiting Hampton Academy on Tuesday.
[Courtesy photo by Susan Hughes. Not in original article.]

[Kenneth Lessard courtesy photo]
A bull moose was tranquilized and relocated after visiting Hampton Academy on Tuesday.
[Toni Mills courtesy photo]
Moose resting on the Hampton Academy field
[Bill Teschek photo. Not in original article.]