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A moose surveys its surroundings on Eggleson Lane in Enterprise at 12:50 p.m. Thursday. (DAVE RILEY photo)
ENTERPRISE — A full-grown cow moose isn’t something you see every day, especially wandering through Enterprise.
Chief of Police Wes Kilgore spotted the unusual ungulate Wednesday on the bluff at the western edge of Enterprise along Highway 82. By Thursday, Dave Riley of Enterprise said the animal had been seen on Fish Hatchery Lane. By Thursday afternoon, it was creating a sensation in rural Enterprise on Eggleson Lane.
“I had a call (Thursday) morning that she was obstructing traffic,” said Pat Matthews, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife district manager. “People were stopping with their cameras. It was something you’d see in Yellowstone.”
Moose are a little more solitary than deer or elk, Matthews said, and they are more browsers than grazers.
“People tend to associate moose with lakes and bogs and that’s true, they use those when they are available,” Matthews said. “But Shiras Moose are a subspecies very well adapted to mountainous areas.”
Approximately 60 to 70 moose have settled in the Wenaha wildlife unit of Northwestern Wallowa County over the last decade. Matthews said he suspects that is where the cow came from.
“It could very well be she’s an unbred cow seeking a bull. Normally this time of year you find bulls doing most of the wandering but cows will look for mates as well,” he said. “It’s kind of a novelty because they are new to Oregon. At the same time, it’s not overly unusual since we’ve had moose show up in different places over the past few years.”
Matthews said there is no plan to capture, collar or relocate the moose. He said his best guess is that she is just moving through the valley.
“We are going to leave her be and let her find whatever it is she’s looking for,” Matthews said.