State Department of Environmental Conservation officials issued a warning late Monday to anyone trying to approach, chase or capture the moose that has been on the loose throughout Northern Westchester county and was last sighted Sunday near the Putnam border.
"Capturing a free-ranging moose is a difficult endeavor and can pose the risk of injury or death to the animal," said Wendy A. Rosenbach, a regional DEC spokeswoman based in New Paltz.
Moose sightings are extremely rare in southern New York. There are only an estimated 800 moose in the state, with most located far upstate near the Canadian and Vermont borders, Rosenbach said.
The moose, described as being about 7-feet tall and weighing 800 to 900 pounds, was most recently spotted alongside the woods near eastbound Bear Mountain Parkway on Sunday morning by Mike and Deb Pfeifer of Cortlandt Manor, who contacted Daily Voice, as reported here. State officials believe it's the same moose that was videotaped in Bedford and also spotted in Ossining and MIllwood.
On Monday, Rosenbach said, "DEC has received several recent reports of a moose in Westchester County."
The last time DEC had a moose sighting in Westchester County was in 2008.
Four other sightings have been reported over the past 10 years in Dutchess and Putnam counties, Rosenbach said.
'DEC avoids attempting to capture or relocate moose unless the moose exhibits actions or is in a location that poses an immediate threat to humans or itself," Rosenbach said. "This is why it is important for the public to call the wildlife line provided above so DEC can keep a record of sightings and potential issues," she said.
The state DEC encourages anyone who sees a moose in the area to call DEC’s Regional Wildlife line at 845-256-3098 so staff can complete an observations record
Moose venturing this far south is an unusual occurrence, according to DEC officials, but moose are annually observed in eastern Rensselaer and Columbia counties of New York state. Moose also exist in neighboring northwestern Connecticut and western Massachusetts, the DEC said.
Urban moose situations arise most often in May and June during the spring dispersal of yearling moose and during the breeding season in September and October, according to the DEC.
For more information on moose populations in New York State and how DEC is monitoring both moose distribution and abundance, click here online:
Additional information on general moose biology can be found on the DEC's website by clicking here.
Westchester County Police were called to scene of Sunday's sighting near Bear Mountain Parkway. They did not release any details on Monday.
The recent sightings are the first moose sightings in Northern Westchester since September 2008 when a half-ton moose was killed after being hit by nine vehicles after wandering onto I-684 near Exit 6-A in Goldens Bridge in the early evening. While most moose/car accidents result in fatalities, only one person suffered injuries in the pileup in which the female moose was killed.