A bull moose, dubbed Cowboy by wildlife photographer Michael Wigle, hangs out with a herd of cows he befriended in the Bella Coola Valley west of Williams Lake. Wigle said this is the second year a moose has left the Chilcotin for the safety of the valley. Michael Wigle photo

Young bull moose makes himself at home among the cows

Cattle don’t seem to mind the unusual visitor to the Bella Coola valley

Residents of the Bella Coola Valley are enjoying a repeat visit from a very special tourist this fall.

Nicknamed “Cowboy,” a young bull moose seems to have taken up residence with a herd of cows just west of the Tweedsmuir Provincial Park boundary.

“He’s the talk of the town,” wildlife photographer Michael Wigle said Thursday of the moose he captured images of the day before. “A lot of people stop and look at him.”

Wigle was heading to the Atnarko River with his camera gear to take pictures of grizzly bears gathering to feast on the pink salmon run when he first saw the moose bedded down with the cattle.

“I had to do a triple-take,” Wigle said, noting the same thing happened last year.

“He must be the same guy. What other bull moose would come into the valley and spend September and October with a herd of cows?”

Wigle said it’s very rare to see a moose in the valley, and that they usually live on the Chilcotin plateau.

The irony that the moose appeared at the start of hunting season, in an area restricted from hunting, isn’t lost on residents.

“He seems pretty protected,” Wigle said, laughing. “I don’t know if he knows that though.”

Wigle said he thinks it’s a win-win situation for all the animals: The moose gets protection from hunters while the cows get extra muscle to deal with area wolves, one of which Wigle saw just down the road from the moose.

As a photographer, Wigle is used to being patient to “get the shot,” so to literally drive up to the bull moose and be able to watch him at length was quite a treat, he said.

“You spend hours setting up shots, waiting for just the right moment and then all of the sudden with this you get 10 minutes of glory. It made my day.”

Just Posted

Sustainable growth: Time to stop trashing environment

Regenerative capitalist Hunter Lovins offers economic insights at Kelowna conference

Watts focused on rebuilding, reconnecting

BC Liberal Party leadership hopeful Dianne Watts visits Salmon Arm, Vernon

Curtis Sagmoen to appear in Vernon court

The man associated with an Silver Creek farm where human remains were found last month is set to appear in court

New hotel planned for Salmon Arm

Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott to build, applying for rezoning with city

Kids, the great outdoors and technology

UBCO study says send your kids outside but let them take their electronic devices

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

CSRD provides free hazardous waste drop-off service

New permanent program opens at the Salmon Arm Landfill on Nov. 25

Most Read