By MIRANDA ORSO
---- — DANNEMORA — The bull moose who was killed after becoming stranded in Wilmington Notch last Saturday will have a protest in his honor today.
Brenda Dadds-Woodward, 29, of Dannemora grew to care about the moose, who she nicknamed "Bruce," after photographing the animal throughout the weekend during its brief visit to the Notch.
So the wildlife photographer and animal lover was extremely upset when the State Department of Environmental Conservation shot and killed the large moose on Tuesday.
Forest rangers assessed the animal's health before making the decision to remove it from the area due to its deteriorating health and concern for public safety, according to a DEC statement.
DEC spokesman David Winchell said an evaluation of the moose revealed significant injuries to both its hind legs.
“Euthanizing wildlife is always the option of last resort," he said in a statement Tuesday. "Due to the moose's deteriorating condition, it is unlikely (it) would have been able to remove itself from the ravine, and the animal most likely would have died there."
Dadds-Woodward said she had planned to go visit the animal that afternoon but canceled her trip after hearing the news that the moose was gone.
“I was getting ready to go see him when I read it on Facebook,” she said. “I just started crying. I was there every day.”
She is concerned that DEC officials made a hasty decision in how they chose to remove the moose.
“I know they didn’t even give him a chance,” she said.
Dadds-Woodward shared her feelings on a Facebook page that she started to help spread the word: “Protest for Bruce the moose.”
She said more than 70 people have signed on to attend the protest she is planning for today.
“And I know people who are planning on coming that are not on Facebook,” she added.
Beginning at 10 a.m., she plans to distribute signs and photos of the moose in the parking area near Route 86, where the animal was last seen.
She has also constructed a cross out of branches that she plans on placing in the area where the moose died as a memorial to the wild animal.
“I just think this could have been done differently, even though (the DEC) said he was dangerous,” she said.
The animal's carcass was sent to the DEC Pathology Laboratory in Delmar for evaluation.
Email Miranda Orso: firstname.lastname@example.org