Moose Shot by OPP in Muskoka

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What is the protocol for dealing with moose near roadways? Was it followed? Is it right? 

As locals to the area and surrounding, These are our concerns, beliefs, and demands.  In favour of change, We aim for a more structured protocol moving forward to assist in maintaining our coexisting wildlife community famously known as, the township of Muskoka.  

On Saturday, February 23rd, the Ontario Provincial Police dispatched an officer after receiving phone calls concerning a moose that had been hanging around the community of Kilworthy. The actions that followed have left the community stunned and deeply sickened.

This petition aims to raise awareness about this event so that better systems can be put into place for dealing with wildlife in our community. Our hope is that organizations, such as the OPP, will move forward with protocols that ensure the humane treatment of wildlife.

Here’s What We Know:

  • A young moose had been hanging around the area of Southwood Road and Bieres Road for approximately one week. The moose was a yearling and on its own.
  • A concerned neighbour contacted the authorities (Ministry of Natural Resources & the OPP) with the intention of having someone come scare the moose into the woods so that it would not get too close to the road.
  • At 4:30pm on Saturday, February 23rd, an officer arrived on scene. The officer determined that the moose was infected with ‘brain worm’ and proceeded to shoot the moose 6 times with a .223 calibre gun. The gun was fired from the middle of the road, approx. 80ft away from the moose. The moose was only hit once as the bullet punctured the face and exited through the neck.
    The officer left the casings in the middle of the road and left the scene. The moose was left to bleed out and eventually passed away.
  • The body of the moose, which was presumed to have a disease by the officer, was left for hours before a neighbour disposed of its body.

This is why these actions have raised concerns amongst community members, including local hunters and farmers:

  • Many witnesses who had observed the moose saw no evidence that the moose was sick or injured.
  • The OPP did not contact the Ministry of Natural Resources before deciding on a plan of action and instead made a rash choice with no regard for the well-being of the moose or the community. 
  • The officer lacked the proper equipment and know-how to humanely put the moose down as evidenced by the multiple shots fired and the location in which the moose was struck.
  • The manner in which the moose was killed was not humane and would have caused distress/discomfort to the moose.
  • The OPP made no arrangements for the moose to be removed before action was taken. Instead, they left the body of a presumed diseased animal which may be harmful to other wildlife.
  • The body of the moose was left near a road. This leaves the potential to attract other wildlife that could cause a road hazard. 
  • The OPP made no efforts to have the moose tested to confirm the presence of the disease.

What Needs to Happen Next:

  • The Ontario Provincial Police should have appropriate protocols in place for dealing with wildlife, especially in rural communities.
  • In addition to protecting public safety, these protocols should include steps to ensure the humane and ethical treatment of each animal. 
  • In cases where euthanasia is necessary, the method used should cause minimal distress and suffering to the animal.
  • Organizations such as the Ministry of Natural Resources should be involved to provide insight so that we can minimize the impact on wildlife populations and the environment.

Please sign this petition if you feel this situation was not handled with care or regard for the well-being of the moose. We hope that we can raise enough awareness to incite a call for change.

The Moose was not an immediate threat and it was not injured. 

See for yourself.  This is a community collection of pictures and videos of the moose, alive and dead.
https://www.facebook.com/jenn.morrison.18/posts/10156901895142667

You can also help by emailing your local MP:
Toni Clement, Tony.Clement@parl.gc.ca
Norm Miller, norm.miller@pc.ola.org

Did you see this moose?
If so please fill out this short eyewitness report
https://form.jotform.com/90595912600255


Articles & Sources

OPP's First Statement Feb- 24
http://www.country102.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=107976&fbclid=IwAR0gaRRWjHgSvev-Y9-pLyEg6wOIbvj-fYmmaugcjahl0puxBNWcGYPkjMw  

OPP Change Their Story Feb-25
https://www.muskokaregion.com/news-story/9192600-moose-that-refused-to-move-dispatched-by-opp-in-kilworthy/ 

MNRF Answer Questions 
http://www.country102.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=108000&fbclid=IwAR1HHVLGoNtmwRuACe0YA_QfI7iWOXnJWSorJFRMPWLv0mQjVPrFJJDKx4k

Outraged Residents
https://www.muskokaregion.com/news-story/9197411-shocked-and-outraged-kilworthy-residents-question-opp-moose-shooting/

Retired detective thinks OPP should have apologized for killing moose
https://www.muskokaregion.com/opinion-story/9206559-retired-detective-thinks-opp-should-have-apologized-for-killing-moose/

Video of a Moose with Brainworm 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJWPsGypMnY


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