Moose scales fence at Gander airport

Andrew Robinson
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Animal killed following attempts to corral it

A bull moose managed to gain entry to the airfield at Gander International Airport Tuesday night by  jumping off a snowbank bordering a fence.

Unfortunately, its stay at the airport did not end well, as wildlife officials were forced to kill the animal Wednesday afternoon.

According to a statement issued by Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA), at no point did the moose’s presence jeopardize anyone’s safety.

But the potential to cause harm was there.

“As you can appreciate, any kind of airfield incursion is a serious concern, especially with a mammal the size of a moose,” GIAA said in its statement to The Telegram.

Witnesses first spotted the 14-point bull moose jumping the perimeter fence at 8:30 p.m. GIAA noted the community has experienced significant snowfall in recent weeks, and cold temperatures have prevented the snow from melting.

The airport tower and the Department of Environment and Conservation’s wildlife division were notified about the animal’s presence. The tower alerted all inbound aircraft about the moose. With high winds, the moose took shelter in a wooded area located within the fenced-off area.

According to GIAA, the moose came no closer than 400 metres to an active runway. Airport staff stood watch through the night to make sure the moose did not return.

The next morning, wildlife officials arrived. Attempts to corral or herd the animal with a snowmobile were not successful. A helicopter was called in Wednesday afternoon, but it too failed to corral the animal.

The moose was killed at 2 p.m.

This is not the first time a moose has found its way onto the airfield in Gander, though GIAA said such instances are rare. It said airfield staff have been trying to clear mounds of snow surrounding the airport's perimeter in recent days.

Organizations: Gander International Airport Authority, Department of Environment and Conservation

Geographic location: Gander

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Recent comments

  • crab
    January 09, 2014 - 11:06

    Shoot first, brag about it later. That moose could have been relocated - it's called a tranqilizer! Then you move him somewhere safe. Aholes.

  • rworried
    January 09, 2014 - 08:42

    A little harsh there original townie, there are a lot worse places than Newfoundland, I know because I've been there...

  • Joe
    January 09, 2014 - 07:26

    I guess when they fence the TCH they will have to shovel it out in winter so the moose can't climb over it. Newfoundlanders could save a lot of money by just slowing down when conditions require.

  • original townie
    January 09, 2014 - 06:30

    A little over reaction don't you think? He was just heading for the ticket counter, wanting to go south. Even he wanted to get away from this excuse of a place we call home.

    • Gekko
      January 09, 2014 - 07:38

      Hopefully he will end up in a warm stew pot.