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Moose in Billings city limits settling in, concerning residents

Hanging out near senior-living neighborhood
Moose still in Billings city limits
Posted at 8:22 AM, Oct 26, 2022

BILLINGS — On Oct. 8,a young bull moose was spotted near Zoo Drive in Billings. Now, more than two weeks later, that moose is still in town, making himself comfortable and making neighbors nervous.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks originally planned to let the moose wander out of town on his own. But it doesn’t seem like he is leaving anytime soon, and residents say they are concerned.

“We’d really like him to be transported to an area where he’s safe, and everyone else will be safe after he ages,” explains Lynda Zirpoli.

Zirpoli lives in Remington Square—a senior-living neighborhood near Rocky Mountain College.

The moose has made this neighborhood his new stomping grounds, and Zirpoli says he isn't leaving anytime soon.

Moose in Billings city limits
Moose in Billings city limits

“We don’t believe he’s going to leave this area. There’s no reason to leave this area. It’s quiet. There isn’t any traffic,” Zirpoli says.

But this neighborhood mostly consists of elderly residents who are growing concerned.

“Everyone, I believe, has called FWP. I called them myself and was just connected to a number that rang and no one answered,” Zirpoli explains.

MTN News was able to get in contact with Fish, Wildlife, and Parks on Tuesday.

Matt Ladd, the wildlife manager for FWP Region 5, says that they are still monitoring the moose.

“Drugging a moose and moving a moose from the Billings city limits could be dangerous. There’s a lot of implications that go with euthanizing an animal, of course. There’s also a lot of implications that could potentially go with immobilizing an animal,” Ladd explains.

The drug previously used to tranquilize large animals such as moose, carfentanyl, is no longer on the market, so wildlife officials are hoping the moose makes his way out of town on his own.

“At the current time, the moose’s behavior has been pretty good, so we just want to continue to monitor it. We do have methods in place if need be, this moose could be here for quite a while,” Ladd explains.

So for the time being, the agency wants to urge residents to stay aware and stay away if they see the moose. Especially with Halloween fast approaching.

"On Halloween, I would just recommend that parents accompany their kids, and just be aware there is a moose in the area. If you do see the moose, keep your distance and avoid it," Ladd says.

Ladd also stresses that feeding wildlife like moose is illegal in the state of Montana, and feeding wildlife could cause the animal to become aggressive.

“The number one thing we don’t want to do is keep attracting, surrounding, feeding, things like that that keep him here,” Ladd explains. "We don’t need to be scared of the moose. The number one thing is just to be aware that it’s there, avoid it, and keep your distance."