TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – An animal unfamiliar to the state has caught the attention of wildlife experts. Recently a moose was spotted in Jewell County.
Rare animal sightings happen from time to time in Kansas.
Levi Jaster is the Big Game Program Coordinator for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.
He normally monitors whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and elk. Those populations range from hundreds of elk to hundreds of thousands of whitetail deer.
KDWPT received an email from its Nebraska counterparts that a moose was headed south toward Kansas.
“Sure enough it followed the Republican River down into Kansas up into Jewell county area,” Jaster said.
Now the moose population sits at one.
“Once they let me know that it had crossed over into the state border, it was like, hey, can we get some pictures, document this for sure,” Jaster said.
It’s the first confirmed moose sighting since the late 1980s.
But it’s not the only rare sighting in Kansas. There have been wolf and cougar reports. Jaster said black bears could also return to Kansas due to some populations living in Arkansas and Oklahoma, but that would be rare too.
“Extremely rare, if there were any number I would expect that we would hear a lot more about them filling up on the game cameras that hunters put out throughout the woods, there are so many of those nowadays that I would expect we’d find them,” Jaster said.
Officials warn that if you do see a moose, to not approach it and be mindful of people’s property.
They also remind people that it is illegal to hunt moose in Kansas.
Update: KDWPT shared on Facebook that the moose was spotted on Friday near Scandia.