Moose brothers spend weekend in Manito, move on by Monday

<p><p>Two moose visited Manito Park this weekend.</p></p><p><p>The gangly youngsters, who were born last year, were seen munching on willows, rose bushes and other plants to the delight of many human park-goers.</p></p><p><p>They arrived on Friday and were last seen Sunday, according to Steve Nittolo, Spokane’s horticulture supervisor. </p></p><p><p>This isn’t the first time moose have stopped at Manito.</p></p><p><p>“They’re pretty occasional visitors, not very often,” Nittolo said. “I wouldn’t say rare, but I would say seldom.”</p></p><p><p>It’s not yet clear if the moose caused any damage by munching or trampling, Nittolo said.</p></p><p><p>Staci Lehman, communications director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s eastern region, said moose are always present on the South Hill. She said it’s not surprising these two showed up.</p></p><p><p>Lehman said the two moose are brothers and recently dispersed from their mother.</p></p><p><p>Moose tend to separate from their mothers when they’re about 12 to 16 months old, Lehman said. She said the brothers are, behaviorally, the rough equivalent of human teenagers.</p></p><p><p>“So far they have been doing great finding food and staying out of trouble,” Lehman said in an email. “Hopefully they figured out how to get back to the woods.”</p></p><p><p>The moose brothers probably would have been setting out on their own soon no matter what, but their mother is injured at the moment.</p></p><p><p>The mother moose is on the South Hill too, and her leg “appears to be healing,” even if it still looks terrible, Lehman said.</p></p><p><p>“Video footage from three weeks ago compared to this week shows that she is no longer dragging the injured leg and did put weight on it at one point when she stood up,” Lehman said in an email.</p></p><p><p>Fish and Wildlife has no intention of euthanizing the cow or capturing the brothers.</p></p><p><p>Instead, Fish and Wildlife is hoping all three wander to more suitable habitat on their own. Capturing and transporting a moose is always relatively dangerous and stressful for the animal.</p></p><p><p>Drugging the cow, lugging her to a trailer and making her stand up in the trailer wouldn’t be good for her broken bones.</p></p><p><p>“By putting her through that process we could destroy any healing that has already taken place and really set her back,” Fish and Wildlife Veterinarian Kristin Mansfield said.</p></p><p><p>The two young moose might have already moved on after their brief stay, but Nittolo said it makes sense they would hang out in the park. A lot of the plants are probably tasty for a moose.</p></p><p><p>“I don’t know how moose think,” he said, “but it seems like a logical place they would want to pause at.”</p></p>