After a potentially dangerous situation in Weyburn involving a confused moose within city limits and a crowd of bystanders, conservation officers are reminding the public to leave wildlife alone and let them do their jobs.
"I just got to remind the public, let us do our jobs," stated Leko. "My suggestion is with the amount of stress that it was under that we were very lucky that it was a successful relocation as opposed maybe to the alternative which would have been it dying on route or dying of stress or us actually having to put it down because it becomes aggressive towards somebody."
"People don't understand how complex it is to deal with a wild animal like that who has a mind of its own and wants to do what it wants to do and coming in there and taking selfies and pictures and just getting in the way of our operation there did not help."
Leko added that moose in the area is nothing new.
"They are naturally part of our landscape and they have been here for a number of years. I would think that both Weyburn, Midale, Bienfait, Estevan, or Carlyle could easily have a moose in the town or city limits."
He shared that they usually just try and scare the moose out of the area by hazing it which can be done by firing bean bags or simply yelling at it to get it to move. However, if those attempts fail, they are often forced to use tranquillizers or even lethal force.
"It puts a lot of additional stress on the animal, there are always complications with tranquillizing an animal like capture myopathy, suffocation, but luckily, in this case, it didn't have to be put down and was successfully relocated."
He added that stress can lead to death in some cases.
"This one here, as it was recovering, we were thinking that it wasn't going to do well. It took about four vials of a reversing drug which is about double what we normally put into it for it to come back but eventually, she got up and on her feet, although wobbly and she was eventually on her way."
If you happen to see a moose in city limits, Leko advises to give it plenty of space, make sure pets and children and kept back and call either the police or conservation.
"We'll come out and we'll deal with it. Our goal here is not to shoot the animal at all. We want to successfully get it out of there and if we can do it by hazing it as opposed to filling it full of a sedative, that's what we're going to do."
"We just want to remind the public that we know what we're doing, we've done this a number of times and just let us do our job. The more people around it, the more stressed it gets. It's not good for the moose, or for us, or for the public."