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Moose's a.m. ramble proves fatal; Animal shot over safety issues.

Byline: Linda Bock

WORCESTER - Environmental and state police shot and killed a moose yesterday just after 8 a.m. on NStar property, near 25 Quinsigamond Ave., on the east side of the Providence & Worcester railroad tracks.

The moose was about 2 years old, weighed 900 pounds and was out in mating season, which can cause aggressive behavior, according to Lisa Capone, spokeswoman for the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Environmental and state police decided to shoot the moose because of his proximity to Interstate 290 and Route 146 and because he was headed downtown, she said.

The area where the moose was shot is across the street from Crompton Park.

Worcester police received a call about 5 a.m. from a motorist coming off I-290, who reported seeing a moose. Ms. Capone said Worcester police contacted environmental police at 7:25 a.m. She said state and environmental police tried unsuccessfully to get the moose to move in a safer direction before making the decision to shoot it.

Traffic in the area was at a standstill for a short time as state police vehicles blocked traffic at Endicott Street near the park. Worcester police had notified CSX, and trains were halted for about an hour. Pedestrians and employees of nearby businesses watched as police with shotguns ran down Quinsigamond Avenue about 8 a.m., and many were in the area when they heard a single shotgun blast a little later. Three other shots were fired shortly after the first shot.

About a half-hour earlier, the moose had made his way into a 65,000-square-foot open warehouse about a mile down the road before he headed into the wooded area near the railroad tracks. Castle Metals, 70 Quinsigamond Ave., is about a half-mile from Route 146. Southbound traffic can be seen from the building, and the moose could have made his way onto Route 146 north.

George Vincovitch, who celebrated his 71st birthday yesterday, was sitting at his desk in a corner of the Castle Metals warehouse when he heard the sound of hooves, according to operations manager Charlie Silberstein.

"It was hilarious," Mr. Silberstein said. "He thought the guys were pulling a fast one."

Mr. Silberstein said the moose came in an open back door of a loading dock, galloped through the warehouse and ran past the area where Mr. Vincovitch was working. Mr. Vincovitch lives in East Brookfield and retired from the company years ago, but now works there part time. He said he heard police sirens but did not really pay attention because he thought police might have been chasing a suspect, but he did look up when the moose was about two feet away from him.

Mr. Vincovitch said he is a hunter, and has seen moose in Maine, but has never seen a moose in the city before today. He called his wife, Gloria, to tell her about his birthday surprise.

"I told her I almost got run over by a moose," Mr. Vincovitch said. "She told me it could only happen to me."

The moose barreled toward the side door in front of the building and then jumped a nearby fence, according to several workers.

"I was amazed," said Lou Hofford, a Castle Metals employee. "It was shocking at first. You don't get to see a moose that much."

Some of the employees and people in the neighborhood were upset that the moose was killed.

Chris Hall, a Castle Metals employee, said she was outside smoking a cigarette a few minutes after the incident. She said she had just pulled into the company's parking lot this morning when she saw the moose come running out of the building and jump the fence. She said the moose was calm once it was contained in the fenced-in yard for five or six minutes until a man driving by in a contracting truck pulled over and started harassing the moose.

"I'm still furious," Ms. Hall said. "The guy was whistling, yelling and freaking him out."

Ms. Hall said she was angry the moose could not be subdued, contained or tranquilized instead of being killed.

The moose was removed immediately after the shooting.

ART: PHOTOS

CUTLINE: (1) Heavy equipment is used yesterday to remove the body of the moose. (2) George Vincovitch was sitting at his desk in a corner of the Castle Metals warehouse yesterday when he saw the moose in the building. (3) Above, environmental police converge at the scene yesterday where a moose was shot on NStar property on Quinsigamond Avenue. (4) At right, a woman looks out the window of an NStar building across from the area where the moose was sighted.

PHOTOG: T&G Staff Photos/DAN GOULD
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:787
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