MARQUETTE (WWJ/AP) – Michigan wildlife biologists are looking into the deaths of two moose found along roads in western Marquette County but say foul play isn’t suspected.

The Mining Journal of Marquette reports the cow and yearling were spotted Wednesday within 10 miles of each other near the community of Republic in the Upper Peninsula.

They didn’t appear to have been shot or struck by vehicles.

Brian Roell of the state Department of Natural Resources said the finding of two moose dead in the same day is out of the ordinary and there were no typical reasons moose are found dead at this time of year.

Roell  said both moose had heavy tick infestations, which can be fatal. Liver flukes are another common affliction. It’s unknown if either caused these deaths.

Roell said the moose were X-rayed for gunshots and examined for internal and external injuries. Tissue samples were sent to a laboratory in Lansing for analysis.

No foul play was suspected.

Results might not be known for months.

Moose are native to Michigan and occurred throughout all except the southwestern Lower Peninsula prior to European settlement. According to the DNR, Moose disappeared from the Lower Peninsula in the 1890s.

During the most recent moose population survey in January 2011, the DNR counted an estimated 433 moose in the western Upper Peninsula. No formal survey of the eastern U.P. moose population is conducted, but local biologists estimate there are about 100 animals there, based on sightings.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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