DOVER-FOXCROFT — Moose are a pretty common sight in the Maine woods and along rural roadways, but seeing one coming out of a building is pretty rare. A Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer happened to be passing by when a moose exited a former pizzeria in downtown Dover-Foxcroft early Friday morning, stepping through the plate-glass window it apparently had smashed to enter the building.
“About 1-1:30 we got a report of a moose going down Park Street and then Main Street, one of the paper carriers saw it,” Dover-Foxcroft Police Chief Ryan Reardon said in his office later Friday morning. “A passerby, Matt Poole, who’s a corrections officer for Piscataquis County, saw the moose coming out of the pizzeria and took a picture of it real quick.”
Reardon said the department was quickly on the scene to assess the damage at the former Athens Pizza at the intersection of East Main and South streets. “It appears the moose was either spooked or chased out of the woods and it’s been seen in the area of Park Street, South Street, East Main Street over the last few days. It’s that time of the year where bugs are chasing them out of the woods and it’s a very young moose. I’m sure it thought it was running into a dark hole to get away from something and went right through the plate glass window down there.”
“It’s the first time in 26 years I have seen a moose run into a building, I have seen deer and other animals but a moose that’s a first,” the police chief said. “I don’t know if I would have believed it unless there was a picture.
“Hopefully the moose is okay, there is some blood on the scene.”
Reardon said the building has been vacant since the pizzeria moved up the street and is in the process of being taken over by the bank. He said the structure overseers will be on site to clean up and repair the window as quickly as they can. Later in the morning the window space was fully boarded up.
“I wouldn’t dare guess as far as replacing the plate glass window, probably several thousand dollars,” he said about a damage estimate.
Reardon said glass from the window was sprayed inside and a few items were knocked over, such as political signs from last fall being stored there. “We’ve cordoned it off because plates of glass are actually quite heavy, we wouldn’t want anyone to walk through the opening and get hurt,” he said.