Crookston DNR wildlife manager figures she'll be fine as long as she avoids predators.
The moose that loved Crookston so much she had to be forcefully removed seems to be settling into her new habitat just southof the Canadian border.
That was the word Wednesday from Ross Hier, DNR Wildlife manager in Crookston. Hier accompanied the moose on the drive to the Caribou Wildlife Management Area in Kittson County Monday afternoon, after the yearling female was tranquilized in a field on Crookston's southern edge and loaded into a trailer for the long drive.
For much of the trip, Hier said he followed in a separate vehicle so he could monitor the moose's activities in the trailer. Before embarking from Crookston, the moose was given an antidote to bounce back from the effects of the tranquilizer, and she was running a fever.
"She stood the whole way in the trailer, and when we let her out there was no anxiety, no jumping around," Hier recalled. "She stepped out of the trailer and trotted away."
Around 500 yards away, he said, the moose walked into a willow patch. "That was the last we saw of her," Hier said.
Minnesota DNR Wildlife Veterinarian Erika Butler, who fitted the moose with a radio transmitter collar while it was tranquilized, reported to Hier that she'd picked up the moose's signal and that she'd moved around a mile to the west-northwest inside the 80,000 acre wildlife management area. Hier said the moose is located in an area within two miles of the Canadian border.
He said the new home for the moose was specifically chosen because other moose are in the area and that "it's just beautiful habitat, with knee-high and chest-high willow growth and some aspen thickets."
"She's finally in real moose habitat," Hier said. "I think she'll be alright, as long as she doesn't run into big furry things with teeth. I don't think she'd do very well in that situation."