Quote:A Newfoundland Wildlife officer shoots a distressed moose in Deer Lake on Aug. 10. (CBC)
Police say a shortage of witnesses has left them unconvinced that the Newfoundland boys accused of chasing a young moose to exhaustion in Deer Lake, N.L., on Monday actually did it.
And the father of one of the boys has offered an unusual alibi for them: he told CBC News in Corner Brook that the boys were busy vandalizing a church in Deer Lake when the moose was attacked.
On Tuesday, police said three boys chased the moose on their bicycles and hit it with sticks. They said it was so distressed that a wildlife officer was forced to end its misery with a gun.
On Wednesday, police said that after interviewing eight people, exactly what happened is unclear.
"We're at the point now where nobody has seen how the moose got [into that backyard]," said Deer Lake RCMP Sgt. Jacques Morneau. "We're trying to determine what happened to it prior to its arrival in that yard."
Police say there are no witnesses who saw the three boys chase the moose.
"The moose had to be put down — that we're sure of," said Morneau, "but as far as what happened to it prior, that's what we're looking into right now."
CBC News spoke with the three suspects, who all said they had nothing to do with chasing the moose, on bikes or otherwise.
"We weren't riding bikes that day," said one boy. " [We] went into the yard after a boy told us there was a moose there. We didn't see the moose. So, we just went on."
Another one of the boys said: "Well, we seen the footprints of the moose, but we didn't see the moose at all."