Moose on The Loose in Southern Dutchess

Contributed by JeanetteTB

We’ve all dreamed of spotting a moose while visiting the Adirondacks. But who would have expected moose sightings in southern Dutchess?

Photo from Danbury Weather on Facebook

A wayward moose was first reported on Monday, September 26th. A video shows it running through a parking lot of a Danbury, Connecticut movie theater during rush hour.  Sightings popped up on Facebook Wednesday evening as the moose made it’s way through Pawling. On Thursday, the moose was videotaped in the parking lot of John Jay HS in East Fishkill. A bus driver in the Wappingers Central School District reported the moose sighting and even called it into her garage. Other local residents captured the moose on security cameras in the yards of local residents.

The New York State DEC says that “in New York, most moose are located in the northeastern part of the state in the Adirondack Mountains and the Taconic Highlands along the Massachusetts and Vermont borders.” When moose are occasionally seen in southeastern New York and the Catskills, these are generally single animals that have dispersed from other areas. Moose are more active and travel further distances in the fall because their breeding season takes place between September and October.

Moose are the largest land mammal in the state. Bulls weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds and stand up to six feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh anywhere from 500 to 800 pounds. Moose are primarily browsers, feeding on the leaves, twigs and buds of hardwood and softwood trees and shrubs. An adult moose eats 40 to 60 pounds of browse every day. Favored plant species include willows, birches, maples, balsam fir, viburnums, aspen, and mountain ash. In the summer, when most moose sightings occur, moose feed heavily on aquatic plants in ponds and wetlands, wading into the water and reaching beneath the surface for plants.

What should you do if you encounter a moose?

  • Don’t approach the moose – keep a respectful distance. If the moose appears to be nervous, back further away. As big as they are, moose still scare easily.
  • Should the moose charge, don’t stand your ground. They want distance, so give it to them by running away quickly. Once it no longer feels danger, the moose will stop charging. It doesn’t want to hurt you, it just wants to be left alone.
  • Enjoy the moment! It may be tempting to grab tons of pictures and video, but this may be your only chance to witness this incredible creature. Take a quick photo, then put the camera down and just appreciate the moment.
  • Report your moose sighting to the NYS DEC as part of their ongoing efforts to monitor moose across New York. Use the DEC’s Moose Sighting Report:      

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