VIDEO: Moose may be infected with winter ticks in Franklin County

Franklin County

SHUTESBURY, Mass. (WWLP) – The Shutesbury police have received several calls over the past few days about a potientally sick moose.

According to the Shutesbury Police Department, the calls about the moose were in the area of West Pelham Road and Sandhill Road area. The Shutesbury Police and the Massachusetts Environmental Police determined the moose is likely infected with a parasite commonly referred as “winter tick”.

Photo sent to 22News from Joshua

A 22News viewer sent video of a moose he caught on camera on Sunday of a moose that may be the one with the winter ticks. Joshua says he sent the media to the Shutesbury Police Department.

MAP: West Pelham Road in Shutesbury

“This parasite mainly affects species belonging to the Cervid family, such as deer and moose, throughout the northern part of our country. Animals infected with “Winter Tick” often have large bald patches on their bodies and irritated skin.”

Shutesbury Police Department

Police are asking that you contact dispatch at 413-625-8200 if you see this moose or any animal you believe may be sick.

“The Northeast United States, in a bad year, they’ve documented 70 to 80 percent mortality in moose calves off of a bad winter tick year. We’ve had bad years in North Dakota, we haven’t documented that level of mortality but it’s certainly possible if the wrong combination of factors come together,” Charlie Bahnson with the Game and Fish Department said.

According to the Associated Press, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has proposed a limited moose hunt in the northeastern corner of state this fall aimed at decreasing the harmful toll of winter ticks on the moose population.

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