4 min read

People Force Wild Moose To Stay In Lake For Pictures — And It Killed Him

He was so exhausted 💔💔💔

Last weekend in Vermont, some lucky tourists spotted a moose swimming across Lake Champlain — but the magnificent moment quickly took a turn for the worse.

By the time the moose reached shore, a group of people with cameras were crowding around the bank, which forced him to retreat back into the water. The nervous animal continued swimming to find another way out, but he was exhausted.

The crowd remained there onshore, watching the moose struggle and taking photos. He was drowning.

A moose swimming | Shutterstock

Robert Currier, a warden with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department,told The Associated Press (AP) that the moose had originally swum from New York state to South Hero, Vermont. Currier arrived on the scene shortly before the moose began slipping underwater — but officers couldn’t get to him in time.

Currier confirmed that the crowd onshore is what pushed the moose back into the water.

"It was struggling pretty good at that point,” Currier told AP about the moose. “We were waiting for a boat to respond to try to assist it, but before the boat arrived, it had drowned. It was really rough out there, probably 4- to 5-foot swells and high wind."

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department advises people on its website to keep their distance from wild animals, and avoid overlapping with other photographers, birdwatchers or groups of visitors who are using the park.

This situation is yet another sad testament to just how dangerous tourists can be for wild animals. Far too often, people approach animals to take photos instead of giving them their space — and it can be extremely dangerous for all parties.

Just last month, a rowdy visitor at Yellowstone National Park got far too close to a wild bison, trying to provoke the animal by chasing and yelling at him while in the middle of the road. The bison gave the man the scare of his life when he got fed up and charged toward him.

Lindsey Jones

Animals often give warning signs before something bad happens, and in this case, the moose’s hesitance toward the crowd and his massive size should have been enough for them to back off.

Let’s hope that people will learn from this heartbreaking situation — and feel compelled to speak up if they ever see someone getting too close to wildlife. It might save a life.