It's a sad day in Canada. A moose in New Brunswick has died after venturing onto a beach and then swimming 500 metres offshore. Bystanders allege that some people frightened the animal further into the water, causing him to drown.
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New Brunswick's Natural Resources and Energy Development department confirmed to Narcity that a moose has drowned, after it was previously spotted hanging out near two local beaches.
On June 22, the Dieppe District Ranger Office received a call at about 10:30 a.m. regarding a young-adult moose in Shediac Bay, southwest of Parlee Beach.
The animal was found to be standing in the water and was monitored for several hours. At that time, "he didn't appear to be in distress," officials told Narcity.
By 5:00 p.m., several more calls came in about the same moose who had made his way to Parlee Beach.
Officials attended the scene alongside workers from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and they found the animal swimming about 500 metres offshore.
Using a boat, officials attempted to guide the moose back towards the shore. However, "the animal was already showing signs of fatigue and going under water."
The young bull drowned shortly after. He was pulled out of the water by staff.
One local posted photos on Facebook of the moose, running along the beach and swimming in the water.
He claims the moose was frightened by the crowds, and swam deeper to get away from onlookers both on the beach and in the water.
"He died needlessly. We can only learn from this and hopefully we as humans do better next time," the post read.
Gerald Robichaud also saw the moose being brought back to shore by officials after it drowned. In a graphic Facebook post, he also claimed that beachgoers scared the animal.
"The moose was in constant stress," Barry Rothfuss of the Atlantic Wildlife Institute told CTV News.
Rothfuss noted that people gather around animals in distress even if there is no malicious intent, but it can often make the situation worse.
If a wild animal is in an unusual location, it's best to give it space so it can find its way out.
Recently many moose have been on the loose in Canada, adventuring to places that are different from their usual habitat.
One even ended up in someone's backyard pool in Ottawa, but it managed to make it out of the water and back into the wild.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.