The mountain may not be out today, but a moose is.
Mt. Rainier National Park say it’s the first one ever recorded there too.
In midafternoon they tweeted out an image of the wandering animal walking through snow drifts next to a steep slope on the road to Sunrise and added that it was also the first moose ever in all of Southwest Washington.
“Could this be same moose recently observed on the I-90 wildlife undercrossing at Resort Creek?” park officials asked.
That’s a reference to a 25-second August WashDOT video of a moose just east of Snoqualmie Pass. It’s about 30 air miles from there to the northeast corner of the park, where this one was reported.
As a chronicler of the weird ways of wildlife in the EvergreenState, this is pretty unusual. Washington’s moose population is mostly in the state’s northeast corner – where WDFW offers a limited number of special permits to hunt the species – Okanogan Highlands and Blue Mountains, but they do like to disperse.
WDFW’s Chase Gunnell says there were reports of a moose southwest of Snoqualmie Pass in September and it’s probably the same one.
“Prior to this one our most recent verified detection of a moose in Western Washington was just west of Stevens Pass in 2009 near the Surprise Creek Trailhead,” he added.
Mt. Rainier is also home to several wolverines. Park officials ask visitors to report moose or other wildlife sightings on this online form.