A moose that was on the loose in Winnipeg since Friday morning is now in custody after Manitoba Conservation officers tranquillized it in a field near the University of Manitoba.
Police set up a blockade on Chancellor Matheson Road in south Winnipeg, creating lineups as football fans headed to Investors Group Field for Saturday’s Banjo Bowl match between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Winnipeg Police Service Const. Rob Carver said the calf was tranquillized outside the stadium shortly before the game was scheduled to begin.
He said officials with the Blue Bombers were calling police wondering if they would have to delay the game.
Conservation officers had been in the Crescent Park neighbourhood, in Winnipeg’s Fort Garry area, searching for the moose since it was first reported walking through streets in the area late Friday morning.
The fleet-footed creature evaded capture Friday night when it dashed into the Red River and swam to shore on the other side, Manitoba conservation officer Joe Johanneson said.
“It wasn’t a full adult, but it was still a very large animal,” Johannesson said, adding the moose is likely between two and three years old.
“We loaded him into a trailer and he is on his way to a nice, safe place.”
Provincial government spokesman Paul White said the moose is on its way to a remote location outside the city.
Though it’s rare for moose to walk into Winnipeg, Johanneson says natural corridors act as passageways for wildlife coming from outside the city.
“They follow major waterways and he was on the Red River, so he could have come from any direction,” he said.
According to the province’s website, about 27,000 moose make their home in Manitoba.
The population in southern Manitoba is “lower than desired,” the province said.