Anchorage police have arrested three suspects in connection with the gruesome death of a moose in an area park, USA Today is reporting.
At about 7:30 Tuesday, a bicyclist riding a bike trail in Anchorage’s Russian Jack Springs Park passed by three men who were abusing the moose. She called the police.
Jennifer Haywood of the Anchorage Police Department tells KTUU (Anchorage) what the bicyclist saw.
“We were dispatched to a citizen calling in noticing three males walking around harassing a moose, taunting it and then they witnessed these males striking the moose, jumping on the moose and possibly striking or stabbing the moose.”
When police arrived on the scene, they found the moose – described as “smaller in size” and possibly a yearling – already dead, with blood everywhere. Three men were taken into police custody.
A statement issued by the Anchorage Police Department reveals that the three men had stabbed the animal.
“APD Dispatch received a call around 7:20 p.m. from a bicyclist stating that they had observed three males harassing a moose along the trail, and that they started stabbing the moose. Police responded and were able to locate the three suspects nearby; they have been taken into custody. The moose (described as smaller in size) was found dead at the scene.”
Moose are a common sight in and around Anchorage, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Over a thousand of the gentle animals call the city and its suburbs home.
“Moose are symbolically linked with Anchorage (the town mascot used by the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is a moose named “Seymour”), and they provide residents and visitors with exceptional viewing opportunities, especially in winter.”
Unfortunately, human interactions with moose can be dangerous, both for the animals and for the humans who encounter them.
“They are also a hazard to drivers during the winter, and individual moose can become aggressive when under stress or protecting their young or territory. Certain human behaviors toward moose (e.g., people who feed them, individuals who harass them with snowballs) can exacerbate human-moose interactions, with damaging results. People have been stomped to death by moose in Anchorage (in 1993 and 1995).”
According to Animal Law in Alaska, a person can be charged with felony cruelty to animals if he or she “knowingly inflicts severe and prolonged physical pain or suffering on an animal.”
As of this post, it is unclear if the Anchorage men who assaulted the moose have been charged with any crimes.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Paul Tessier]