It’s becoming something of a trend in the snowy Wood River Valley: Big game animals dropping in on local residents via basement windows.
“Cover your window wells or you could end up with an unexpected intruder,” Idaho Fish and Game’s Magic Valley office posted on Facebook Thursday evening shortly after steering a cow elk out of a Hailey basement.
The same thing happened at another local home in late December 2015. And last weekend, the basement surprise came in the form of a massive moose.
None of those animals were reportedly injured. Still, the moose and elk extrications are challenging, and Fish and Game prefaced its Thursday post with: “I wish we were making this up, folks.”
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This time, the responding conservation officer convinced the elk to exit by “smacking it on the rump with a hockey stick he found in the basement,” Fish and Game reports. But in last Saturday night’s moose incursion, the riled animal repeatedly charged officers and ended up sedated and carried up the stairs and out the front door to sleep it off in the snow, according to a Jan. 29 Fish and Game news release. And the December 2015 elk went up the stairs of her own accord after prolonged negotiations with conservation officers, Fish and Game reported.
One factor the intrusions have in common — besides a rude awakening for Hailey area residents — is that they accompany high snow levels in the mountains that prompt elk and other large animals to look for food in populated areas, a Fish and Game conservation officer said after last winter’s incident.
Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447