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Moose on the loose in Bismarck, makes its way to Capitol grounds

The big bull moose caused quite a stir but stayed on the sidewalk while passing by CHI St. Alexius hospital as the wild creature walked along Broadway Avenue in search of a way out of Bismarck on Tuesday evening. Photo by Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK -- Spotted around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday in the Bismarck Tribune parking lot, one young bull moose headed south to a loading dock by J.C. Penney at the Kirkwood Mall. He made stops at the CHI St. Alexius Health hospital, backyards throughout southeast Bismarck and spent nearly two hours huddled behind a tree in the McDonald's parking lot, near the former Front Page building, on East Main Avenue before taking off around 6:30 p.m. towards the Capitol grounds. 

Bismarck Police Sgt. Noah Lindelow said the moose was on the Capitol grounds as of 6:50 p.m. He said he expects the moose to spend the night there. When he's comfortable, he'll probably leave town. 

"He'll probably rest up there in one of those treed areas and take off," Lindelow said. "If he's in town tomorrow then we'll have to deal with him again." 

Dozens of people gathered to see him around town during the afternoon. Gleefully pulling out cell phone cameras, pedestrians and workers tried to get up close. 

"Maybe the moose will like our new parking lot," said Joe Duperre Jr., general manager of the Kirkwood Mall, as he watched. 

But police warned onlookers to stay away or inside cars, as moose tend to play by their own rules. 

For example, as police and animal control tried to shoo the moose out of the Kirkwood Mall parking lot, he galloped towards a crowd of about 20 people, ultimately fleeing past Grand China and Target into the road.

In the McDonald's parking lot, he scurried past cars and down the drive-thru lane before heading back, perhaps disappointed by the selection, to his corner where he was this evening. 

"He's stressed real bad," Bismarck Animal Warden Ed Woodcock said. 

Woodcock said the moose is a young bull that likely wandered in from the Baldwin or McKenzie areas. 

"It's that time of year that the mom is kicking him out," he said. 

Another moose was reported near 26th Street and East Rosser Avenue, but he hadn't been seen again by evening, Woodcock said. The last time a moose came to town was in June.

Kristi Dahl, who was caring for a half dozen kids on South Tenth Street this afternoon, saw the moose fly by and run up a hill. She said her first concern was getting the kids inside. 

"I thought I was seeing things," she said. "I didn't even get a picture!"