Moose drowns after tourists scare it into lake by taking photos on their phones

Rob Waugh
Contributor
A moose stands in Lake Champlain in South Hero, Vt. Wildlife officials say the animal had crossed the lake and made it to shore, but went back in the water, after likely feeling threatened by onlookers, and drowned. (Bernadette Toth via AP)

A moose drowned after tourists crowded the animal trying to take pictures, forcing it into a lake in Vermont where it became exhausted and then drowned.

The animal had swum across Lake Champlain from New York to South Hero, Vermont, but a crowd gathered to snap photographs after it emerged on shore.

Officials believe it became spooked and threatened and returned to the water – where it became tired, and then drowned.

Wildlife officials told the public to keep their distance from animals.

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Fish and Wildlife Warden Robert Currier told AP that wardens arrived when the animal was already struggling, and were waiting for a boat.

Currier said, ‘t was struggling pretty good at that point. We were waiting for a boat to respond to try to assist it, but before the boat arrived, it had drowned.

‘It was really rough out there, probably 4- to 5-foot swells and high wind.

‘I would advise the public to keep their distance from the animal, give it a lot of space and notify the Department of Fish and Wildlife.’