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Freak drowning Moose Montain Dell Golf Course
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“Freak accident” claims two moose calves near Mountain Dell Golf Course

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and a crew from Mountain Dell Golf Course prepare to move a female moose from a water diversion area near the golf course. Two juvenile moose drowned in the water earlier Sunday. Photo: Division of Wildlife Resources

SALT LAKE CITY — Two moose calves are dead and their mother has been relocated after a drowning that Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) calls a freak accident.

DWR spokesman Scott Root told KSL this happened at the Mountain Dell Golf Course on Sunday morning. 

“The course is so wild-like, they have several beautiful ponds on their golf course,” Root said. People report seeing moose at the golf course regularly. Root says the mother and two calves were seen by golfers yesterday.

This morning, the moose had discovered an area of pooling water which is underneath I-80. Root describes the area as remote, and containing a concrete diversion for water.

There is typically a fence around the diversion, but Root says the fence was damaged by a recent car accident on I-80. The accident left a hole in the fence and allowed inadvertent access for wildlife.

The water in the diversion was between five and six feet deep according to Root, and when the calves walked through the hole in the fence into the concrete area, they could not keep their heads above the water.

The two calves drowned.  Later, a groundskeeper for Mountain Dell Golf Course found the mother. With the help of the ground crew, officials lowered the water level.

The mother was tranquilized, lifted from the water, and into a horse trailer. Root said she was then given a reversal drug and regained her consciousness quickly.

The mother was relocated to central Utah, in what Root called “great moose habitat.” He also says that the hole in the fence will be repaired.