ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska officials said their best hope of accurately counting moose in Anchorage comes from the help of residents.

The state Department of Fish and Game announced Tuesday that they would once again be asking for the public's help in counting urban moose in the wake of last year's successful pilot program, KTUU-TV reported .

The urban counting method was adopted last year as officials determined traditional aerial moose counts within the Anchorage Bowl are "impractical due to flight restrictions imposed over the busy metropolitan area."

Sean Farley, a research biologist with the department, said the public outreach method provided a boon to the department's overall count.

The full-scale count is scheduled for Feb. 23 through Feb. 25.

Sighting reports are required to have the number of moose, the time and location. The department will then search for the moose and extract DNA from them with special dart guns.

The department's call for residential reports also highlighted the importance of not approaching moose during an encounter.


Information from: KTUU-TV,