In a bizarre turn of events in Settlers Bay, Alaska, a calf moose was gunned down by two brothers in a backyard on Easter Sunday.
The brothers, James and Josiah Beall shot the moose during a family Easter celebration after feeling threatened by neighborhood moose on a number of occasions prior to the incident.
Not so oddly enough, their mother, Mary Beall, posted a video earlier in the year of her casually hand-feeding moose to her Facebook account, an activity that is illegal in the state of Alaska. After James noticed the video online, he promptly recommended that she take it down and to stop feeding the moose, warning her of the risks of feeding wildlife such as moose.
James, a U.S. Army veteran, told Alaska Dispatch News that he and his brother were playing soccer and smoking in the driveway when the moose suddenly appeared behind a truck. Worried about the 7-11 family members gathered on a patio nearby, the brothers retrieved their pistols – a .357 SIM and Taurus .40 caliber – from their vehicles.
It wasn’t until the moose appeared to drop its shoulder and charge toward the patio that the brothers instinctively opened fire on the moose, dropping it about six feet away.
“I was trained in instant response,” James Baell said. “As soon as I felt they were in danger, I opened fire.”
During the investigation, Alaska Wildlife Troopers said tracks and witness statements showed the moose had acted aggressively and was charging a person when it was shot,” according to an online dispatch. “Subsequently, additional information was received by AWT that homeowners in the area had been feeding several moose in the weeks leading up to the shooting.”
Authorities are unsure as to whether or not the moose shot was the same moose depicted in Mary Baell’s earlier-recorded video, but did warn of the dangers of feeding moose.
“(H)owever based upon how readily the moose approached during the videotaped feeding, it appears the moose were very comfortable receiving food from humans,” spokeswoman Megan Peters wrote in an email to ADN.
Mary Baell was subsequently cited for unlawfully feeding game on Saturday, April 16, 2016.
H/T: Alaska Dispatch News