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BEHIND THE SCENES: Moose on the loose plows through North Bay backyard

BayToday's Chris Dawson takes us behind the scenes

In each “Behind the Scenes” segment, Village Media's Scott Sexsmith sits down with one of our local journalists to talk about the story behind the story.

These interviews are designed to help you better understand how our community-based reporters gather the information that lands in your local news feed. You can find more Behind the Scenes from reporter across Ontario here

Today's spotlight is on BayToday's Chris Dawson, whose story "Moose on the loose plows through North Bay backyard " was published on May 13.

Below is the full story, in case you missed it.

Tom Watkins grew up on the outskirts of North Bay for more than 15 years and saw very little sign of wildlife. 

Well yesterday, Watkins saw one in a very unexpected place...his backyard. 

"I lived in the bush for 18 years and I never saw a moose. I moved to town and one runs through my backyard," he said. 

The North Bay man was shocked to get a message and a video from his nephew indicating that a moose had found its way onto his property early Sunday morning, and then with some athletic flair the large animal leapt over his six-foot-tall backyard fence. 

Watkins moved to the Pinewood neighbourhood in North Bay less than five months ago. 

"My neighbour took that video and my nephew knows the neighbour and he says 'look what just happened in your backyard,' and I was thinking what is going on, so my nephew drove over to my house to check my backyard and he sent me some pictures of my fence and stuff," said Watkins. 

Watkins was at his girlfriend's cottage on the weekend and missed the bizarre moose visit, which he estimates took place around 7:30 Sunday morning. 

The first thing that went through his mind was "How much damage did the moose do?"

"My nephew went over and there is a big gate on the one side and I guess he plowed through it," explained Watkins.

"The moose broke the fence that it jumped over. The gate doesn't have a lock on it, it has a latch and it looks like it just popped off but he left a bunch of hair and big hoof marks through the back and I don't know where it went after that." 

What makes the visit more unusual is Watkins does not live close to the bush as his backyard is on the backside of the former Pinehill Coffee Shop in the Pinewood neighbourhood on the north end just off Clarence Street. 

"I don't know where he came from, maybe from the escarpment near Nipissing and Canadore because there is no bush the other way as it is downtown," said Watkins. 

The next step is for Watkins to contact his insurance company with quite a story to tell. 

"You could not explain this to the insurance company without video," said Watkins. 

"I wish I was there I would have loved to see the moose. I wish I had security cameras in my yard." 

See moose backyard escape video below: