A frazzled moose spent hours wandering through a busy neighborhood in Worcester Wednesday morning, crisscrossing through back yards before being struck by a car and later tranquilized, officials said.
The moose was first spotted at around 3:14 a.m. near Cambridge Street, before popping up again at around 8:30 a.m. near Hollywood Street, according to a spokesman for the Massachusetts Environmental Police.
Photos and videos from residents of the area show the animal appearing briefly in a few driveways before darting back into the woods.
One video shows the moose running frantically down May Street when it is clipped by an oncoming car. It quickly scrambled to its feet and ran into a yard before turning around and charging down Hollywood Street.
Environmental police eventually tranquilized the creature, which has been “relocated to an undisclosed location for its own protection,” according to the spokesman.
Moose are relatively common in central and Western Massachusetts, according to Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife, though they are rarely seen in the Eastern portion of the state.
It’s not unheard of for a moose — particular young ones — to pop up in urban areas, the department says.
“Moose, especially yearlings, will sometimes appear in densely populated areas, having followed waterways or forests into the heart of an urban center,” the department’s website says.
The department advises to avoid moose spotted in busy areas.
“Never try to approach or pursue a moose,” the website says. “Pursuit not only stresses the animal, but it adds the risk of having a moose chased out into traffic or into a group of bystanders. Wildlife professionals recommend letting the moose find its way out of populated areas and into nearby forested areas.”