A bull moose, dubbed Cowboy by wildlife photographer Michael Wigle, hangs out with a herd of cows he befriended in the Bella Coola Valley west of Williams Lake. Wigle said this is the second year a moose has left the Chilcotin for the safety of the valley. Michael Wigle photo

Young bull moose makes himself at home among the cows

Cattle don’t seem to mind the unusual visitor to the Bella Coola valley

Residents of the Bella Coola Valley are enjoying a repeat visit from a very special tourist this fall.

Nicknamed “Cowboy,” a young bull moose seems to have taken up residence with a herd of cows just west of the Tweedsmuir Provincial Park boundary.

“He’s the talk of the town,” wildlife photographer Michael Wigle said Thursday of the moose he captured images of the day before. “A lot of people stop and look at him.”

Wigle was heading to the Atnarko River with his camera gear to take pictures of grizzly bears gathering to feast on the pink salmon run when he first saw the moose bedded down with the cattle.

“I had to do a triple-take,” Wigle said, noting the same thing happened last year.

“He must be the same guy. What other bull moose would come into the valley and spend September and October with a herd of cows?”

Wigle said it’s very rare to see a moose in the valley, and that they usually live on the Chilcotin plateau.

The irony that the moose appeared at the start of hunting season, in an area restricted from hunting, isn’t lost on residents.

“He seems pretty protected,” Wigle said, laughing. “I don’t know if he knows that though.”

Wigle said he thinks it’s a win-win situation for all the animals: The moose gets protection from hunters while the cows get extra muscle to deal with area wolves, one of which Wigle saw just down the road from the moose.

As a photographer, Wigle is used to being patient to “get the shot,” so to literally drive up to the bull moose and be able to watch him at length was quite a treat, he said.

“You spend hours setting up shots, waiting for just the right moment and then all of the sudden with this you get 10 minutes of glory. It made my day.”

Just Posted

Alleged affair leads to assault in Princeton

Remorse and a clean record result in suspended sentence

Pepperoni costs Hedley man $500

A Hedley man enjoyed a snack and then refused to pay for it - landing him in court

OSNS #SmileWithOtis making the rounds in Penticton

The 38th annual Shaw Share a Smile Telethon in support of OSNS is Saturday

Penticton treatment centre owner says she plans to raise the bar in care

Michelle Jansen has been an outspoken advocate for the development of rules

Biosphere designation boosts national park drive

Certification outlines conservation as key part of sustainable tourism development

Run, hide, fight — surviving an active shooter situation

A former Kelowna cop teaches how to survive an active shooter situation

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness to kick off season

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

PayPal ordered to disclose business accounts to Canada Revenue Agency

Online payments company has 45 days to hand over information identifying its account holders

Federal government to boost treatment options for opioid drug users: minister

More than 2,800 people died last year as a result of the overdose crisis

Ambulance design changes urged after B.C. man falls out, dies

A coroner’s jury makes recommendations after hearing about death of Ebony Aaron Wood

Suspects in Penticton shooting caught on video

RCMP released CCTV video of a shooting incident at Fairhaven House

Most Read