Although it's no longer an uncommon sight, it definitely causes a stir when moose wander into the city. That was the case this weekend as two moose were spotted in River Park, with one wandering up the hill and being spotted near Souris School.
"Weyburn sits on a river," said Conservation Officer Lindsey Leko. "It's easy for the moose to move around on that river as opposed to deeper snow or other areas that they might have a hard time getting through, such as farms."
With the easy access along the river, moose are bound to wander into the city, especially in areas where there is an abundance of food for them.
This in itself isn't really cause for concern. But what did raise concerns this weekend was the social media presence surrounding these moose. Pictures and videos were all over a few social media sites and Leko noted that this is a huge no-no.
"If you saw that on Facebook on any other social media sites, you'll also see moose readily attacking vehicles and readily attacking people on snowmobiles and anyone else that tries to get too close," he said. "A cow will aggressively defend it's young and if you are thinking you can outrun it or do it at a distance where it's not going to come after you, you're mistaken."
Leko recommends giving the moose a wide berth, keeping your distance and calling the police.
"Normally when the police are called then we're called shortly afterwards because we have the equipment to sedate it," he said. "What we'll try to do most of the time is provide it an easy escape route out of the city. The moose will generally move out of town on their own, it's not an area they like to be in."
However, he noted that sometimes relocation efforts are made more difficult by the need to get that perfect social media picture.
"Last year with the moose in Jubilee Park, we got hampered greatly with people coming and trying to take pictures," said Leko. "I don't understand why the need for that selfie or those pictures is that important because if you saw these things coming after you, it would definitely change your mind."
"People need to keep their distance. We all heard in the news about the lady that was attacked by a jaguar for getting too close and taking a selfie," added Leko. "She got too close, went beyond the enclosure and now she is likely full of stitches because of it."
He also noted that areas like River Park can be quite attractive to wildlife but it is very important to keep your distance and report sightings.
"They're very unpredictable so it's best to keep your distance," he said. "When you see those ears snap down, it means business and it's time to get out of there or it might already be too late. And it's doing what it naturally does. If something was coming after my kids, I would defend the same way. They aren't doing anything out of the ordinary, it's just they are large and unpredictable."
So, although there may be more moose in the city, Leko thinks it would be best to limit the social media selfies and videos, for everyone's safety.