ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Wildlife Troopers have killed a moose after a woman posted a video on social media showing herself feeding and petting the animal.
Troopers said the juvenile male moose had become comfortable around people and subsequently posed a public safety risk, Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.
The video posted on Facebook by Angel Bunch of Palmer on Saturday was sent to Matanuska-Susitna authorities, Alaska State Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said.
The live video showed Bunch feeding carrots to the moose and petting the animal from the doorway of her home, McDaniel said.
The video was not publicly available by Sunday and Bunch could not immediately be reached for comment.
Wildlife Troopers determined the moose could become a danger to the public because it was so comfortable around people, McDaniel said.
“When Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded to Bunch’s residence the moose showed no apparent fear of humans and walked up to the Wildlife Trooper when he arrived,” McDaniel said in an email. “This moose appeared thin and showed signs that it had been fed by humans for some time.”
Wildlife are likely to stop searching for food and feeding on their own after getting used to being fed by humans, McDaniel said.
“When their human food source stops the animal can become aggressive towards other humans as it looks for food from them,” McDaniel said.
There were no reports of nuisance moose in the area, but troopers decided to kill the animal and donate the meat to charity to avoid a potential safety risk, McDaniel said.
Bunch received a misdemeanor citation for negligently feeding game. Her bail was set at $320 in Palmer District Court, State Troopers said.
Calls reporting negligent wildlife feeding are common in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Anchorage areas.
Similar citations have been issued to people whose unsecured garbage attracted bears. Many of the encounters end in death for the animals, which become unafraid of people.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers and State Troopers are separate departments.