A wayward moose wandered onto a University of North Dakota practice football field Tuesday morning and frolicked there for hours before being captured and released back into the wilderness, campus police said.
The young female moose entered the field through an open gate on the east side of Memorial Stadium and made herself at home, said UND Police Lt. Daniel Weigel.
A video posted by a Grand Forks Herald staffer on Twitter showed the animal prancing for much more than a first down on the football field inside the stadium, along Columbia Road in Grand Forks.
In a midday update, police said on Twitter, “The moose is laying down taking its typical midday college nap. We are still asking everyone to avoid the area so that the moose doesn’t become stressed or panicked.”
The stadium had been UND’s home field for many decades until the indoor Alerus Center opened in 2001. It is now used as a practice facility for the team, but the moose’s presence did not affect the team’s preparations for Saturday’s game at Fargo vs. in-state rival North Dakota State.
“It’s more of a gawker distraction, if anything,” said UND sports communications director Mitch Wigness. Around 8:30 p.m., campus police announced that the moose had been released into its natural surroundings near Grand Forks County.
A 24-second video shows a trailer opening and the moose galloping out into the dark. “There she goes,” a woman says in the background. “Success!”