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Heightened Concerns Last Monday

Posted by: Theo | January 24, 2012 | No Comment |
-Theo Noomah

Monday morning, school administrators were careful not to repeat the events of January 29, 2008, the aftermath of which left the janitor scrubbing blood off the school steps for hours.

Students at Homer High School seemed unfazed when their morning routine took them within feet of three young moose who had found a spot to rest by the entrance of the school. Moose are not uncommon on school campuses in Alaska and the bushes at Homer High’s front doors get visitors every winter. The moose that visited Homer High this Monday, January 15th seemed uninterested in the students going in and out of the building, but with the shooting of a young bull in 2008, the school has carefully considered the safety of both moose and students in recent years.

Dr. Gee was out in the cold Monday morning, lunch and after school, ushering students away from the moose; his goal, to keep harm from coming

They might look like an easy midwinter snack, but these bushes can prove a fatal attraction to an aggressive moose.

to any moose or people. He said he would call Fish and Game if he had to, but he didn’t find the situation imminent enough because the moose were not acting aggressively and weren’t impeding traffic.

Thomas McDonough, a biologist with Fish and Game, said that should he be needed to remove moose from school grounds he would start at an open door, for safety, then approach the moose while leaving it with an escape rout. He says it would be important to make the moose aware of his presence and make movement alternately toward and away from it so as not to stress it. This can take up to an hour before the moose leaves.

McDonough added, if the school wishes to avoid the problem of moose around the front doors, the bushes at the school entry way should be torn out and replaced with a shrub that moose find unappetizing.

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