PARLEY'S CANYON — A mother moose and her calf caused a big traffic jam on I-80 Thursday when the animals were unable to get into the back country on their own.
About 7 p.m., the Utah Highway Patrol received a call of two moose on the loose on I-80 near East Canyon. Troopers initially tried to scare the animals into climbing the hillside adjacent to the road and go back into the mountains by turning on their lights and sirens, but the calf was unable to make the steep climb.
The calf rolled back down the hill, and the mother would not leave her baby. The calf was estimated to be about 2 weeks old, according to wildlife authorities.
Officials from the Utah Department of Natural Resources were called and eastbound I-80 was closed while they attempted to tranquilize the animals.
The mother was tranquilized. Her calf was so tired by that time that it just laid down on I-80 and fell asleep, according to the UHP. Both animals were loaded into a trailer and moved to a new location in the mountains and then released.
Traffic on eastbound I-80 was backed up for several miles because of the incident. The road was closed for approximately two hours.