During an otherwise uneventful finals week, a lone adolescent moose descended from the wilderness to wreak havoc upon campus, running wild for several hours before Massachusetts Environmental Police brought the beast down with the help of town and campus police in President Biddy Martin’s backyard.
According to reports from students, the moose was first sighted on Walnut Street near the Cadigan Center before crossing Route 116 to main campus. The moose reportedly headed towards Merrill Science Building before running down Memorial Hill and turning back towards Route 116.
After the moose crossed Route 116 for a second time, town and campus police helped create a perimeter by closing off secondary roads while a Massachusetts Environmental Police officer attempted to tranquilize the creature with a dart gun. According to unconfirmed reports on the scene, the officer fired three shots before finally tranquilizing the animal successfully. The moose continued to be on the move for more than twenty minutes before finally falling unconscious behind the house of President Martin.
With the help of onlookers— including Amherst College students Daniel Diner ’14, Theodore Seem ’15, and Blaine Patrick Werner ’15—police loaded the unconscious animal into the back of a truck. Local news media and curious onlookers were allowed the opportunity to take photos of the moose—which was snoring loudly—before the truck drove away. According to officials on the scene, the moose will be taken to a remote area approximately one hour away where it will be released.
Werner said that after he and Seem heard about the moose in a GroupMe message, they immediately left their dorm to search for the animal.
“We got down the Hill, and started looking around the quad and nature area. We were about to give up after 20 minutes of impromptu moose looking when we saw some people around Biddy’s house. We parked, found her right as the police tranquilized her, and then we were asked to help lift her. She weighed about 900 pounds, but after we lifted her in they let us take some snaps. It was the most fun I’ve had all year,” Werner said.
Werner also suggested that the moose could serve well as a replacement for the College’s often controversial mascot.
In a statement to reporters, Amherst Police Captain Christopher G. Pronovost said that moose are rare for the area, but added that increased rural development has led to more frequent sightings in recent years.
If you have photos or stories to share about the moose, please add them in the comments section below!