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DWR MOVES MOOSE FROM SCHOOLYARD

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A young cow moose was trapped and removed from the playground of East Layton Elementary School Wednesday morning, providing students returning to class on the first day of the new class cycle with a lesson in wildlife management.

Don Paul, a biologist with the Division of Wildlife Resources, said he'd been getting reports of a wandering moose from the Layton area for several days."We think it's the same animal, about a 2-year-old cow moose, that's been giving us a run for our money for a week," said Paul. The moose was sedated, loaded into a trailer and taken to the Strawberry Reservoir area, according to Paul.

The biologist said it was the fourth moose-related incident in the county this year, in line with the average of six to nine moose sightings expected in Davis County during the year.

"We had one big moose day a while back, three (sighted) in one day," said Paul. "We had two together by the freeway in North Salt Lake and then a single third one later that day.

"But this is the first time we've felt the need to trap and remove the animal," Paul said. "Generally, if they're not causing problems or endangering themselves or something else, we just keep an eye on them until they go back up into the mountains."

The teachers at East Layton kept the students away from the animal, which Paul said stayed in a corner of the school's playing field, well away from the kids.

"There was no danger that we could see, but we felt it would be in the best interest of the animal to remove it," Paul said. "I can't recall a person being injured by an attacking moose but there's the problem of someone maybe being hurt as the animal tries to escape or get away."

Paul said moose sightings in Davis and Weber counties are not uncommon and in recent years residents have begun reporting mountain lion sightings.

"We believe the sighting reports are credible," said Paul. "We seem to have developed a deer population that lives in the lower canyons and draws in the county, sort of an urbanized deer herd.

"And deer are the prime food source for mountain lions, so there's credibility to the reports," he said.

"We've had no reports of anyone being attacked or otherwise having contact with a lion here. The reports in the last few years of lions attacking people in other states, even some fatalities, has focused attention on them, however," Paul said.

Paul said he has no good idea of why a moose would be attracted to a subdivision.