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Moose family spends day on Edmonton home's lawn

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A mother moose and her two calves spent much of Thursday hanging out outside a north Edmonton residence.

Personnel from Alberta Fish and Wildlife and Edmonton Transit Service, and City of Edmonton peace officers, removed the trio Thursday afternoon from the front lawn of a home on 137 Avenue at 58 Street.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers shot the moose with a tranquillizer from a distance before their removal.

A neighbour told CTV News Edmonton the moose were first spotted there at 9 a.m.

Dale Gienow, executive director for WILDNorth, which tends to injured and orphaned wildlife in northern Alberta and conducts public wildlife education efforts, told CTV News Edmonton "it's rare but not completely unusual" for moose to enter neighbourhoods from the North Saskatchewan River valley.

"It's always a shock, particularly for people to wake up and find them sitting on their front lawns but certainly not unheard of here in Edmonton" Gienow said.

He said it's hard to say why the moose ventured as far away from the river valley as they did in this case, speculating "a dog, vehicles, people could have driven them from the natural green space into the neighbourhood."

And while Gienow said he doesn't think unseasonably warm temperatures would encourage moose to enter human-populated areas, he said it "could have an impact on other wildlife species that we see."

In general, if people come across moose in the city, Gienow says they should not approach them and instead call Alberta Fish and Wildlife or the City of Edmonton's park rangers.

"I know it's quite a spectacle having a large animal like that sitting on your front lawn, but you do want to avoid approaching them, particularly in spring, when they might have young calves, or bull moose in the fall in the rut season can be particularly dangerous, but even this time of year," he said.

"They are a large creature capable of doing you considerable harm if they're upset, so you should definitely keep your distance and call the regulatory authorities."

Gienow said he encourages anyone in the city with a wildlife inquiry to contact WildNorth.

"We can certainly talk to people about how to behave and what to do if they have a wildlife encounter," he said.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Miriam Valdes-Carletti and Shelby Clarke

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