HEARTBREAKING: Terrified moose tragically drowns after it was forced back into lake by onlookers crowding the shore to snap pictures
The animal was spotted swimming across Lake Champlain from New York all the way to South Hero, Vermont on September 1
A moose, or elk as they are known in Eurasia, was spotted swimming across Lake Champlain from New York all the way to South Hero, Vermont, on September 1. The animal is reported to have made it to the Vermont side of the lake but then got back into the water after it spotted a group of people along the shoreline. Once the large animal got back into the lake, it became too exhausted to swim and ended up drowning.
Grand Isle County Sheriff Ray Allen told local news outlet The Islander in an interview that the animal likely felt threatened by the large group of people.
Speaking to the Associated Press on September 3, Fish and Game Warden Robert Currier said: "It was struggling pretty good at that point. We were waiting for a boat to respond to try to assist it but, before the boat arrived, it had drowned… It was really rough out there, probably 4- to 5-foot swells and high wind."
Currier got onto the boat after it arrived at the location and used a rope to pull the carcass onto the shore. Bernadette Toth, who was among the crowd of onlookers and had clicked a picture of the moose, said that there had been at least six people on the shore of the lake that the moose swam to.
Toth also said that the area where the animal reached is well-traveled and close to a bike path. Toth told the AP: "They made it sound like it was this big mob of people. No, this is a heavy trafficked area for South Hero… That is always a very busy, busy area."
The response that the tragic incident has received on social media has been overwhelming with many users slamming the onlookers.
Local wildlife authorities, however, have bigger concerns with how tourists and residents in the area need to be educated with the dangers of approaching an adult moose.
Currier told WCAX, a local TV station: "Don’t crowd the moose. If a moose feels threatened, it’s going to respond either by leaving the area or with aggression, and obviously we don’t want anybody to be the victim of the latter of those two."
Unlike all the other species of deer that are found on the planet, moose are solitary creatures and prefer to travel alone rather than forming herds.
Even though they are pretty slow and live a sedentary lifestyle, more or less, they can become very aggressive and move astonishingly fast if they are angered by something or if they feel like they are under threat.
The animal is the largest deer species on the planet but that does not make it immune to danger. The most common enemies that a moose has are grey wolves, bears and, of course, humans.