Local News

Sick moose sighted in Rutland County

VTF&W is monitoring the animal for possible brainworm disease
RUTLAND—A moose that is suspected to have a fatal disease is being monitored in Rutland County. The moose has remained near a road for several weeks and biologists and wardens are checking on the animal for symptoms of brainworm. The public is warned not to approach it.
Officials caution the public that moose with brainworm may appear tame, but they are still wild animals and can be unpredictable and dangerous if approached.
“This moose has remained near the road and in sight of people for some time now, which is unusual for a healthy moose,” said Forrest Hammond, wildlife biologist for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “We’re continuing to monitor the moose for symptoms of brainworm and other diseases. Wardens may need to take appropriate steps to protect human safety if the moose becomes a threat.”
Brainworm is a parasitic disease that affects a moose’s health and behavior. The disease progresses in the animal and is ultimately fatal. Symptoms of brainworm include drooling, a tilted head, stumbling, walking sideways or in circles, and not showing fear of humans.
“By the time the moose reaches the later stages of the disease, it may exhibit signs of suffering,” said Hammond. “In these cases, we try to do the humane thing by euthanizing the animal. This is really a last resort for us, and we only step in to protect human safety or put the animal out of its misery.”
The department encourages members of the public to contact their local game warden if they see an animal that appears sick or is acting strangely, and to always leave these animals alone for their own safety and the safety of the animal.
The exact location of the roaming moose was not available at press time.

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