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Moose spotted in Graniteville


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WESTFORD — A number of residents spotted an unlikely visitor in their backyards as a moose wandered through Graniteville Friday morning.

Officials respond to early-morning sighting

Residents sighted the moose as early as 6:30 a.m. according to Westford Animal Control.

“We got reports at 6:30 a.m. at River St where she later made her way to St. Catherine’s,” Westford Animal Control Officer Kirsten Hirschler told WestfordCAT. “She was definitely stressed and overheated.”

She continued, “she attempted to jump a fence and was unsteady on her feet and collapsed.”

The Massachusetts Environmental Police, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westford Police Department and Westford Fire Department were on site near St. Catherine’s of Alexandria Church to assist with the moose.

“We hosed her down with the help of the fire department,” she said. “She was tranquilized and loaded into a truck.”

Moose expected to recover

According to MassWildlife State Deer and Moose Biologist Martin Feehan, the moose is expected to make a full recovery.

“She’s doing pretty well,” he told WestfordCAT. “She did also have a pretty bad case of winter tick, which can be lethal. She’s pretty lethargic from it but will likely recover. We were able to administer medicine that will help with the tick issue as well.”

Feehan says the moose is an approximately two-year-old female weighing 400 pounds. This moose, according to Feehan, may have traveled across state lines.

“She appears to be a moose that was likely captured in N.H., she has out-of-state tags. But they are either from N.H. or Maine, but we will have to confirm that with their state biologist,” he said.

Moose have historically roamed Massachusetts, but their populations began to decline in the 1700s from unregulated hunting and extensive deforestation.

Feehan says a moose wandering in the area is not a rare occurrence.

“This is not a unique situation,” he said. “There are others in and around Westford. We’re on the edge of their range, so there isn’t a high abundance, but almost every one of the surrounding towns has a resident moose that keep to themselves.”

According to officials, the moose has been treated and will be released to an undisclosed location outside of Westford.

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domainguehttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.

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