SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado Parks and Wildlife says that the public helped them solve two incidents involving harassment of moose but they are still looking for help in finding the people involved in a third incident.
In the recent cases, wildlife officials say social media not only played a role in helping track down those involved, but the public learned about the encounters via social media posts.
“If high-profile cases like this serve to spread the word, whether through social media or the grapevine, that alone has accomplished much of what we are trying to do to inform the public,” said District Wildlife Manager Elissa Slezak in a statement. “It was encouraging to see how many local folks are already aware of the dangers relating to moose, so there is definitely some community self-policing going on.”
Earlier this week, a woman posted a video to Facebook that shows her calling over a wild moose and feeding the animal from her hand. Because of the backlash, the woman removed the video.
She was contacted by CPW officials on Monday and was issued a citation for illegal feeding of wildlife and a warning for harassment of wildlife.
“She expressed remorse for what she did,” said Slezak. “She realizes now what a mistake it was, and we believe she has learned a valuable lesson.”
CPW is not revealing the woman’s identity.
“When you consider how severe the response from the public was, I can say she’s paid for her mistake,” said Slezak. “In fact, I would say the public’s response is probably more of a deterrent than the citation she received.”
That incident happened the same day that another man, who has not yet been identified, was photographed chasing and standing close to another moose in a Frisco median along a busy street.
“It’s not only unethical and irresponsible to feed and harass wildlife, it’s also illegal,” she said. “We will enforce our wildlife laws.”
In the incident with the man in Frisco, police contacted him later that same day after receiving reports of his erratic behavior, including the incident with the moose.
“We know who he is and have attempted to contact him about the moose incident,” said Slezak. “We’ll evaluate the situation and make a determination about how to proceed when we meet with him.”
RELATED: Officials Warn Warmer Weather Means More Moose Near Town
Now, CPW would like help tracking down two young men who approached and tried to touch a moose in Frisco’s Drake Landing neighborhood about three weeks ago. Video shows the moose kicking at one of the men. It is unknown if anyone was injured in the incident.
“That video is disturbing because the moose appears to actually strike the individual,” said Slezak. “That could have easily led to a severely injured young man and we would have had to put that moose down.”
Anyone with information can remain anonymous by calling Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648. Rewards are available if the information leads to an arrest or citation.
LINK: Living With Moose In Colorado