Governor Says He’ll Pardon ‘Pete The Moose’

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(Host) Governor Peter Shumlin says he’ll spare the life of a tame moose whose plight has stirred the sympathy of thousands of people around the country.

(Shumlin) "Pete the Governor hasn’t issued any pardons yet, but I’m going to issue one for Pete the Moose. Pete the Moose must live."

(Host) The four-legged Pete is semi-tame and lives inside a fence on an Irasburg game farm. Last year, wildlife officials said he should be euthanized to prevent the spread of disease.

But with thousands of fans on Facebook working to save him, Pete became a political animal as well. The Legislature quietly passed a bill that made Pete the property of farm owner Doug Nelson.

But Shumlin says that was a bad precedent. And he’s urging lawmakers to pass a bill that makes it clear that wild animals are held in the public trust for all Vermonters.

(Shumlin) "It’s incumbent on the Legislature to pass as quickly a bill that clarifies that wildlife of the state of the Vermont belongs to all Vermonters and cannot be privatized."

(Host) Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry says the state has a number of options to spare Pete. He said the animal can continue to live inside an enclosed area on the game farm, or he can be moved to another facility in Vermont.

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