GRAVENHURST — Provincial police are defending their use of lethal force on a moose they claim was either “injured or sick.”
Social media lit up Saturday with gruesome photos of the dead animal.
Jennifer Morrison, who says she lives near the “injustice” has started a petition opposing the shooting.
She says: “The community is deeply sickened, disturbed, and down right pissed off.”
Her post also shows, in undated video and photos, a seemingly healthy young moose meandering in knee-high the snow.
OPP at Bracebridge said in a release this week that on February 23, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. “officers responded to a concern from a member of the public about a moose that was possibly injured or sick on Beiers Road in Kilworthy.”
Police say the information was that the moose had been in the same place for more than 30 hours and according to “the callers own extensive experience, the animal’s behaviour was very concerning.”
Police say they attended and assessed the situation with respect to the animal’s behaviour “and its potential to cause devastating harm on the roadway.”
Police say: “There was evidence that the moose had already been on the roadway and that it might be ill, due to it being non-responsive to the many tactics employed to move it away from the potential path of vehicles.”
As a result: “In the interest of public safety, the moose was ultimately dispatched by police.”
The OPP say “the decision to destroy any animal is not an easy one and not taken lightly, however the issue of public safety remains the core objective.”
Meanwhile, Morrison states on her social media petiton page: “We are raising awareness of a moose that was shot unethically in our neighbourhood by law enforcement Saturday Feb 23th at 4:30pm. The community is deeply sickened, disturbed, and down right pissed off.
“The moose was noticed in the area for a week. It was being celebrated by the locals and people were enjoying seeing it. A concerned neighbour called authorities (MNR & OPP). She wanted the best for the moose by having someone scare it into the woods, to insure it would not be hit by a car. The moose was a yearling on its own and was oddly hanging around in the same area. Southwood and Biers’ road are quiet country backroads where people live because they enjoy rural living and wildlife alike.
“It is nearing the end of winter and moose run low on food and lose weight. She could have been taking a break from walking through the deep snow. The yearling being by itself may have just lost her mother and was trying to figure things out on her own. She showed no signs of aggression. Locals, hunters and farmers are all in agreement that the moose did not look sick.”
According to Morrison’s post: “The OPP arrived on scene and shot at the moose 6 times with a .223 calibre from the middle of the road about 80ft away and only hit it once, leaving the casings behind. The bullet went through the face and out the neck. The moose stumbled toward the road and was left to bleed out. The officer then left, leaving his casings in the middle of the road way and the presumed infected moose.”
See more on her Facebook petition post at https://www.change.org/login_or_join/redirected?redirectTo=%2Fu%2F27166012