HEALTH ASSESSMENT OF SHIRAS MOOSE IMMOBILIZED WITH THIAFENTANIL
Seventy-three (30 male, 43 female) free-ranging adult Shiras moose (Alces alces shirasi) were captured in southeastern and northwestern Wyoming, blood sampled, and radio-collared in 2004 and 2005. Moose were darted from the ground and air using 10 mg thiafentanil. Blood samples were analyzed for hematology, serum chemistry, cortisol, and bacterial and viral serology. Selected serum chemical parameters and cortisol were analyzed as indicators of physical exertion or physiological stress and none of these parameters suggested that moose were stressed as a result of capture. Hematologic parameters were considered within normal limits. Moose were serologically negative for Brucella, Leptospira, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, bovine viral diarrhea virus, parainfluenza-3 virus, and bovine respiratory syncytial virus. Fecal and ear swab analysis and examination of the moose indicated that they were relatively free of ecto- and endoparasites. Three moose died within 30 days of capture for reasons probably associated with the capture effort.
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