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Moose Gallops Across Dartmouth Campus, Startles Students

A young moose runs across the Dartmouth College green in Hanover on Saturday. Hanover Police Sgt. Dave Luther said the last moose sighting he can recall in downtown Hanover was two years ago. (Ryan Archer photograph)

A young moose runs across the Dartmouth College green in Hanover on Saturday. Hanover Police Sgt. Dave Luther said the last moose sighting he can recall in downtown Hanover was two years ago. (Ryan Archer photograph)

Hanover — Dartmouth College senior Ryan Archer got an early graduation present on Saturday when he spotted a young moose galloping across campus just after 1 p.m.

After four years at Dartmouth, the computer science major from the Philadelphia area said he hadn’t seen any animal larger than a squirrel roaming about Hanover.

But as Archer was sitting on a bench near Rollins Chapel, not far from the Dartmouth Green, he heard a group of girls in a car screaming about the animal.

Archer saw the moose and started to run after it, using his camera phone so he could send the pictures to his father.

“It was big, bigger than the handful of horses I’ve seen. Not something I’d really want to run into,” Archer said yesterday. “I was really excited.”

He said he was cautious, though, and followed the moose across East Wheelock Street, in between Alumni Gym and the football stadium before losing it near the baseball field.

Retired Hartford High School teacher Paul Keane also saw the moose, and said the animal stood a whole head taller than his six foot two inch frame.

“I ducked into a tennis court and closed the gate just in case the creature had the brain disease common to his species,” Keane wrote on his blog.

Sgt. Dave Luther with the Hanover Police Department said animal sightings like this are uncommon, but they still happen. Luther said police were returning from a prior call when they saw the moose running on College Street near the Green and followed it until the animal darted between some buildings toward a wooded area called Bema, near the Shattuck Observatory.

Luther said the police haven’t received any more reports of sightings since Saturday, but warned residents to keep their distance.

“They’re great to look at but they will charge,” Luther said. “They do get spooked and when they do they will run and they don’t care what they run into.”

The last downtown Hanover moose sighting Luther can recall was about two years ago, he said. Bears seem to be more common in the area than moose.

Luther cautioned onlookers to keep a distance and avoid provoking or scaring animals that stumble into populated areas.

For Archer, it was his second moose sighting in two weeks, the first coming as he rode a bus toward Quechee and a moose crossed the highway.

“I thought, if I leave Dartmouth without seeing a moose I probably won’t see one any time soon,” he said.

Katie Mettler can be reached at 603-727-3234 or kmettler@vnews.com.

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