Early morning commuters heading eastbound on Ontario's Highway 417 had to deal with a very unusual roadblock. A confused moose somehow wandered its way to the highway at Pinecrest Road near west Ottawa at around 6:15 AM. The poor thing seemed to have a bad injury on its front leg.
The wounded moose caused "significant slowdowns" all morning long, and police eventually arrived on scene to get the animal to safety. Officers used their police cruisers to create a makeshift barrier for the moose and separate it from traffic.
Local traffic reports say that until the moose is safely removed from the area, OPP have closed the 417 westbound lanes at Pinecrest, and eastbound lanes at Richmond. Because the animal is wounded, significant time and effort might be required to send it on its way.
Traffic reports advise commuters to avoid the highway if possible. But, if they can't avoid it, they should "sit back and relax" until the moose is taken care of. The Ministry of Natural Resources is reportedly on its way to have the moose tranquillized.
Videos and photos show the moose holding up its right hoof, and struggling to put weight on it. Some witnesses also claim that it has a laceration on its chest. The moose appears to be stressed out and afraid. Thankfully, help is on the way.
Moose remains boxed in along the median on Highway 417 EB between Pinecrest and Hwy 416.
It appears the Moose has injured its right front hoof.
MNR en route to tranquilize the moose. #ottnews #otttraffic pic.twitter.com/sMV9hBxN4X
Police Sargeant Mark Gatien tweeted just before 9:00 AM, "It’s a zoo in the west end. We are shutting both directions of 417 now for MNR to dart the moose. All my staff is at intersections doing traffic control. Please stay away if you're not already in the jam. Sorry."
Drivers in the area, tap into your Canadian spirit and try to be patient.