A 700-pound yearling cow moose was caught and relocated out of Thornton, CO earlier this week following a days-long wandering trip down the Front Range.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and CPW spokesman, Jason Clay, Wildlife officials tranquilized the 2-year-old cow moose at about 8 a.m. near Todd Creek Golf Course in Thornton on Wednesday (June 8) and loaded it into a trailer for relocation to the Pike National Forest

How common is it for moose to wander away from the high country?

CPW spokesman Jason Clay told 9News that wildlife officials respond to one or two instances per year of a moose on the Front Range.

In these rare yet common instances, the moose are usually young; as such, they typically wind up following a creek or river down from the high country, foraging as they go, and don't realize they've moved into a less-than-ideal habitat.

Getty Images
Getty Images

In this most recent incident, CPW says the yearling cow moose began its aimless voyage out of the mountains on Sunday (June 5) from Boulder Canyon; the moose was then reportedly spotted Sunday evening near 30th Street and Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, which is close to CU Boulder's campus.

On Monday (June 6), the moose had made its way east to the Lafayette/Erie, CO area; by Tuesday evening, the daring moose managed to make it even farther east and was spotted in the area of Washington Street and the Northwest Parkway.

Operation "Capture Baby Moose" finally came to a close Wednesday morning (June 8). The yearling had wandered into a neighborhood near the Todd Creek Golf Course in Thornton, where it was finally captured for relocation, 9News reported. 

Moose sightings and attacks are on the rise in Colorado.

Should you ever encounter a moose, CPW says you can do the following to keep yourself as safe as possible around moose:

  • Never approach a moose too closely. Watch and photograph from a safe distance.
  • Move slowly and not directly at them.
  • Back off if they show signs of aggression, such as the hair on their neck standing up, licking their snout, cocking their head and rolling their eyes and ears back.

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