A moose is on the loose and touring through Lenox. Where will he turn up next?

LENOX — Michael Gardino and his wife, Martha, were alerted by their two miniature Dachshunds that someone was outside last Saturday evening, before darkness descended.

A moose was spotted wandering around near the center of town last Saturday evening.

The longtime residents peered out of their living room window on Brunell Avenue, near downtown — right into the eyes of a young bull moose who was staring right back.

“At first, she thought it was a horse,” Gardino said. “But sure enough, it was a moose. It was amazing to see; never expected to spot one in the front yard, but there it was, plain as day.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” said Gardino, who built the house 40 years ago. “I’ve been all over Vermont, New Hampshire and had never seen a moose. It turns out I didn’t have to go far. He was looking right at me for about 10 minutes before he took off into the woods.”

Gardino told The Eagle that several of his Facebook friends later spotted the moose on Hubbard Street, on the other side of town.

After he notified local police on Saturday night, Gardino noticed Lenox and state police cruisers driving by, but the moose had departed for the safety of the woodlands.

In his neighborhood, he’s used to seeing bears, coyotes and fishers, which aren’t cats but are members of the weasel family related to mink, otters, badgers and wolverines.

While moose sightings are not uncommon in the Berkshires, seeing one in a residential area near the center of town is far from routine. This wandering bull moose also has been sighted in other parts of town, including the Root Reservoir, where he was slaking his thirst.

Over the past 15 years, occasionally in vehicle collisions, moose have been spotted in Adams, Becket, Cheshire, Lanesborough, downtown North Adams, Pittsfield and Stockbridge, among other locations.

At the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife headquarters in Westborough, state deer and moose biologist Martin Feehan described the Lenox area as well within moose habitat, considering the abundant forests nearby. He’s familiar with the town because of assignments for bear issues and captures.

Moose wanderings near or into downtowns are pretty common, he pointed out, noting that the animals have been seen regularly in urban areas such as Worcester and Framingham. But generally, he said, “bears are much more comfortable around people, whereas moose are more elusive and tend to want to stay in the woods.”

“At this time of year the bull moose are getting pushed around by cows with their calves,” Feehan said. “Those cows tend to get a bit territorial where they’re raising their calves. So the bulls start moving out of those areas just as those cows are defending their territories. They just go wherever they can find food, so a lot of times they get pushed into sub-par habitats such as the towns.”

The Lenox moose could be a yearling, he noted, adding that the wanderers can cover a large area, up to 30 or 40 miles within a week or two, exploring new food sources. The moose menu includes early growth — trees, young leaves as well as some vegetation within marshes and wetlands.

Primary safety threats described by Feehan include moose-vehicle collisions.

In addition, “you need to give them good space because if they feel threatened,” he cautioned. “They might charge to stand their ground, but only if you get very, very close.”

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