The head of the moose that was severely injured by a vehicle on Saturday and then euthanized by state police will be tested for brain worm and chronic waste disease, state Department of Conservation officials said on Thursday.
However state DEC officials consider moose meat safe to eat, so are donating the rest of the young bull moose's useable meat to a non-profit group that helps feed needy people.
State police shot the 800-pound male moose along Route 9 in Cortlandt when it was unable to get up, according to authorities.
"We don't generally test moose and wild deer,'' said Wendy Rosenbach, a DEC spokeswoman based in New Paltz.
The moose head was sent to DEC’s Wildlife Pathology Lab located in Delmar, N.Y. near Albany, according to Rosenbach. "They will primarily be looking for the presence of brain worm – a parasite that can be deadly to moose," she said. "It's a standard test."
"If we had been tracking it," or if the moose was sick or put down because of suspected disease, the meat would not have been donated, Rosenbach said.
State officials are giving the useable meat from the moose struck along Route 9 in Cortlandt to a Dutchess County hunger program that helps needy families throughout the Hudson Valley.
The vehicle that struck the moose did not stop and did not report the incident, according to state police. A DEC Environmental Conservation Officer responded and with the help of NYS Department of Transportation loaded the moose on to his pickup truck.
"The ECO transported the moose to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program which is operated by the Conservation Awareness Foundation of the Federation of Dutchess County Fish and Game Clubs," Rosenbach said. "The useable meat will be processed and distributed to needy families in the lower Hudson Valley."
More details on the Hunters Helping the Hungry program can be found by clicking here.
The moose that was severely injured by an unknown motorist at about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, state police from the Cortlandt barracks said. The injured moose was found by police on the southbound shoulder of Route 9 about one mile south of the Welcher Avenue exit.
The moose, believed to be the same one sighted throughout Northern Westchester since June, was about 7-feet tall. A young male moose was previously spotted near woods along the eastbound lanes of Bear Mountain Parkway in Cortlandt on Sunday, July 10. Earlier moose sightings were reported in Bedford, Millwood and Ossining.
The moose in all the recent sightings had small antlers, typical of a young bull moose, which are solitary animals and do not form herds. Moose sightings are extremely rare in southern New York. There are an estimated 800 moose in the entire state, with most living near the Canadian and Vermont borders.
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