Mystery shrouds case of injured moose euthanized in Sunderland

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 05-30-2024 5:41 PM

SUNDERLAND — Police responded to the area of Bull Hill Road and Route 116 on the morning of May 23 for a report of a moose struck by a vehicle.

Upon arrival shortly after 7 a.m., though, there were more questions than answers, as first responders found an injured moose lying in the road, but no signs of a vehicle strike — no debris, no damaged vehicle and no clue of what happened.

“We have no vehicle or no driver to go with it. All we have is a moose that appeared to be injured sitting in the road,” said Sunderland Police Chief Erik Demetropoulos. “We’re kind of just stuck wondering what did all this damage.”

The injuries were severe enough that Demetropoulos said the Massachusetts Environmental Police needed to be called to euthanize the moose.

“They determined the animal was too injured to give care,” Demetropoulos said, noting that he was directing traffic and wasn’t close enough to see the injuries.

The initial report, Demetropoulos said, was that a school bus had struck the moose, but when police arrived, the animal was lying down in the travel lane. He added that a witness said the moose approached the school bus, but there was no bus with damage to match up with the incident. He said there is typically a lot of damage when a moose is struck.

Leverett police assisted with directing traffic, while the state Department of Transportation and Environmental Police helped clear the scene.

“If it did strike a vehicle, no one reported it,” Demetropoulos said. “It’s unfortunate, but at least no one else was injured.”

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