The tick-covered carcass of a young moose was removed from Little Mountain Park on Thursday.
City workers removed the dead calf, which was located along the fence at the rear, east end of the Little Mountain Sports Complex fields.
Rob Niewenhuizen, city director of engineering and public works, said it is assumed the animal died of natural causes as there was no sign of it having been shot, hit by a vehicle or attacked by predators.
“The carcass was covered in ticks and the conservation officers suggested that the animal may have been in poor health,” said Niewenhuizen.
Conservation officer Micah Kneller guesses there are a number of reasons why the moose might have died – it could have injured itself while running away from dogs, died from malnutrition or from ticks.
The province is in the process of monitoring moose killed by winter ticks through the BC Wildlife Health Program Moose Winter Tick Survey, now into its fourth year.
The survey describes moose winter ticks as an external parasite found on white-tailed deer, mule deer, bison and elk. Their preferred host, however, are moose. They can result in skin irritation and blood loss for moose and, in cases of severe infestation, lead to serious health issues and even death. Moose winter ticks, however, do not pose a health risk to humans.
Read more: Take note, tick season is upon us
Subsequent to the dead calf’s removal, another calf has been spotted with a cow moose in the Little Mountain area. The animals are said to be unafraid of humans.