A 500-pound moose roaming through New Britain was shot and killed on Wednesday morning, one day after another Connecticut moose was spotted about 45 miles away in New Milford.
Wednesday's moose showed up around 6 a.m. in the West Main Street area of New Britain, according to police.
Officers followed the animal for about a half hour, but things took a turn for the worse when the animal crossed Route 72, a major highway.
It happened at least twice and officials had no choice but to euthanize it, authorities said.
“It’s something we don’t like to have to do, but obviously we’re literally less than 100 feet from Route 72," said Col. Kyle Overturf of the state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection. "With rush hour… we had to take the action we did."
New Britain police and state DEEP officials responded to the scene. State police arrived to direct traffic.
Overturf said the DEEP was trying to keep the public safe by preventing a collision on the highway.
“Vehicles will hit the legs of the moose, and the moose tends to come up through the windshield,” he said.
While many in New Britain were disappointed the moose couldn’t be saved, they were also grateful no one was hurt.
“We don’t want to see anything like that,” Joseph Tropea said.
With numerous moose sightings in recent days, DEEP issued a reminder that moose can be dangerous animals and are liable to charge at any moment.
"They're not aggressive animals as a general rule, but they can be unpredictable as any wild animal can," said Rick Jacobson, Director of the DEEP Wildlife Division.
Officials said they have no idea where a moose will show up next.
Moose spotted by the roadway are especially dangerous and are difficult to see when driving at night. They pose a particular problem during mating season.
"They're just focused on what they're tyring to achieve, and anything else that gets in their way, can knock out of the way, kick aside," Jacobson said.
DEEP officials said that while there haven't been any recent human fatalities, the state has already reache dits yearly average of four moose vs. car collisions.
Connecticut’s moose population is estimated at 100 to 150 animals. Moose are most commonly found in the northeastern and northwestern wooded corners of the sate.
Thomas Mcclendon provided this photo of the moose in New Britain: