COEUR d'ALENE - Under the influence of a tranquilizer dart, a 600-pound bull moose walked onto U.S. 95 Monday morning and collapsed on the trunk of a woman's car.
Idaho Fish and Game officers located the moose after receiving a call around 10 a.m., according to Regional Wildlife Manager Jim Hayden. The bull, most likely a yearling, was reported near the Kootenai County Sheriff's campus on Government Way, then strolled over to Dalton Children's Center on Dalton Avenue.
While the moose was lying down next to the building, officers fired an air-powered dart into its leg, Regional Conservation Officer Craig Walker said. The moose rose, wandered into the middle of U.S. 95, and fell against the trunk of a small sedan stopped at the Dalton Avenue red light. Its upper body rested against the vehicle, while its legs remained on the street.
The driver of the car appeared to be in her 20s, Walker said.
"It was a little bit of a surprise for her just waiting for the stoplight to change," he said.
After a second or two, the moose rolled off the car and laid down on the pavement. Four IDFG officers rolled the heavy bull into a net and loaded it into a truck.
"About as easy as they get," Hayden said.
The woman's car did not appear to be damaged, Walker said.
"She seemed like she wasn't quite sure what had happened," he added. "It certainly must have been a surprise for her."
IDFG drove the moose north of Coeur d'Alene and released it.
This time of year, Hayden said, the department receives a number of moose calls. IDFG handles every animal on a case-by-case basis - a cow with a calf, for instance, is considered more dangerous than a lone animal.
"Sometimes they get in places where we have to move them," Hayden said.
Christine Ladke, owner of Dalton Children's Center, got a clear look at the bull. She kept the children inside while the moose was on the property.
"It wasn't a huge moose," Ladke recalled. "But it was a pretty good-sized moose. All the kids were so excited, just looking out the window."
IDFG completed the removal in about 10 minutes.
"It all took place very, very quickly," Walker said. "The main thing is no one got hurt, the moose is fine, and everyone is happy."