Moose are more commonly seen in Montana's more mountainous regions, but Billings has been playing host to one in recent days. On Saturday, Laura Porter was making her way to Interstate 90 to head out to the Beartooth Pass.
She is an avid wildlife photographer and was hoping to see some animals once she arrived - but she didn't have to travel far.
"I came over that hill coming towards the Zoo Drive exit, and I saw this big black thing in the field," Porter recalls. "I thought this has got to be either a cow or a bear, but it was so big."
But it wasn't a cow or bear—it was a moose. Luckily Porter had her camera with her and she was able to snap a photo of the moose.
“It’s so exciting anytime you get to see wildlife out and about," Porter says.
Porter spends time volunteering at ZooMontana and has a tip for wildlife encounters: “Definitely keep your distance. There’s very few wildlife that I would say get up and touch it."
But the moose sightings didn't end Saturday.
Many Billings residents near Rocky Mountain College reported seeing a moose running around near a canal.
“I was feeding the ducks this morning. It was early, and all of a sudden this male moose just came running along here," Suzanne Erpenbach says. "He just stopped for a moment and looked at me, and then trotted along his way."
Suzanne and her husband Larry have lived in this home for almost 20 years.
“We see deer, and we’ve seen raccoons and a fox, but no moose,” Erpenbach says.
MTN News went out and found the moose in a yard near 16th Street West and Colton Boulevard.
Neighbors were in awe and could be seen capturing photos and videos from a distance.
“He was so beautiful. He was stunning," Erpenbach says. "I was just upset because I didn’t take a picture."
Billings Police Lt. Matt Lennick says that police hope the moose will make its way out of town on its own, noting that Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks was closed Monday due to the holiday.
Until the moose can make its way home, wildlife officials recommend keeping your distance and never approaching wild animals.
- 1 person dead in Great Falls crash
- Gunshots fired in Great Falls
- PHOTOS: 'pack' of wolverines
- Teacher dies after bicycle crash
- Obituary: Constance Becker
- 2 charged for Blaine County vandalism