Ottawa police shot and killed one of two moose when the animal began acting erratically and jumped a six-foot fence into an Orleans backyard after repeated attempts to tranquilize the animal failed.

Earlier in the day, police blocked off the area surrounding a school on Merkley Drive, where two moose were spotted near Des Pioniers Park. The moose later left the park, and headed into the suburbs.

Police say once the moose ran into the suburbs, the situation quickly became a public safety issue. Police shot the animal in the backyard of a home on Bottriell Way, located down the street from the school.

"Many attempts were made to save the animals and calm them down to remove them from the area, but in this situation it didn't happen," said Const. J.P. Vincelette.

Police say the moose was hit with a tranquillizer two or three times, but the tranquillizers did not work on the mighty animals, and more action was necessary.

Erratic behaviour

Arthur Evans, who lives in the home where the moose was shot, said he didn't think police had any other choice but to kill the animal.

"The animal was clearly out of control. There's no way they could grapple with it, the darts did not make much of a difference in its strength and power," Evans told CTV Ottawa.

Others agree: "In my mind, the police probably didn't even know if there was a daycare back there with children," added local resident Judy Miscampbell.

Although one of the moose was killed, the other is believed to have escaped into a wooded area off Trim Road.

Tranquillizing attempts fail

Ecole Des Pionniers was temporarily locked down as a precaution while a sharpshooter from Papanack Zoo tried to tranquilize the animals. Although initial attempts were unsuccessful, more tranquillizers were brought in.

"It's always a guess-timation, and earlier we were trying to shoot in the rain and it was a little windy, so when we shot the first dart, we were a little high, and the second dart we were a little low. And then the third dart, we just caught the tree right by him," said Keith Forgie, of Papanack Zoo.

Officials predict the moose are about 18 months old. Nobody knows where they came from, or what attracted them to the urban area.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley