A moose trotted into Memorial Stadium Tuesday morning and spent the rest of the day meandering around the stadium and snacking on bushes.
#UNDAlert: Please be aware that there is a moose that has wondered into the @UofNorthDakota Campus area. We are doing our best to get this animal back to the wild. This situation is also currently contained. #BestCopsAround pic.twitter.com/iB46QeALkm— University of North Dakota Police (@UNDPoliceDept) September 3, 2019
The department is doing its best to get the animal back to the wild. It is currently in Memorial Stadium, where UND football players say they were shocked to see the animal in their space. Police ask for people to stay away from the area for now.
The situation was contained as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The moose has been on campus since around 8 a.m., UND Police Lt. Danny Weigel said.
UND officials reported that they believe the moose got in through a gate left open for football practice at Memorial Stadium.
The plan is to let the moose, which is not a danger to students, stay in the field until traffic dies down tonight. Authorities will then help guide it out of town.
David Dodds, UND spokesman, said the moose didn't affect any training for the UND football team, which is practicing next door in the High Performance Center.
Dodds said having the moose in the stadium is probably the best situation for everyone as it won't be able to run out into streets and hurt itself or people.
"It's in the safest place it can be for itself and the public," Dodds said.
#MooseUpdate: The moose is laying down taking its typical midday college nap. We are still asking everyone to avoid the area so that the moose doesn’t become stressed or panicked. #BestCopsAround #MooseWatch2019 pic.twitter.com/SsSs5p3BE2— University of North Dakota Police (@UNDPoliceDept) September 3, 2019
Jim Job, outreach biologist with the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish, said while it's not uncommon for moose to be spotted in the area, it is unusual for one to end up in the center of town.
"It's not uncommon at all; it's just uncommon for them to wander into town," said Job, adding that moose have walked into nearly all of the state's major cities, including Fargo, Minot and Bismarck.
"Moose are just generally wanderers," Job said. "They will sometimes walk miles a day just wandering around, so I'm guessing that's what happened here. This one just wandered in. We do have some spots in town that are just like their natural habitat so he probably just wandered into town and ended up on the campus."
If people see a moose, whether in town or in a field, Job said it's best for everyone to stay away. There already have been reports of people rattling the fence trying to spook the animal.
UND officials say they talked to North Dakota Game and Fish, which has identified the animal as a female moose that appears to be in good health. They're hoping to get the animal out of town tonight once it's dark and campus is a little quieter. The aim is to guide the moose further north.
"They are wild animals," he said. "Especially if they're in town, they're already going to be a little nervous with all the traffic and people running around already. Definitely don't want to corner a wild animal or make it feel like it's cornered. Definitely keep your distance because they are very large animals and, if they do feel threatened, they could react."
Ken Chase, of WDAY, contributed to this report.