A moose was euthanized Thursday after shutting down an Ottawa highway during the morning rush.

The moose was first spotted in the eastbound lanes of Highway 417 around 6:30 a.m.

Police officers and provincial officials used their vehicles to box the animal in and separate it from traffic. Images from the scene showed that the moose appeared to have an injury to its right front leg.

Two of the highway’s eastbound lanes remained open at first, although some drivers faced delays of up to 40 minutes due to the incident.

At the height of the morning rush, with emergency crews still awaiting the arrival of wildlife officials to remove the moose from the highway, the highway was completely closed to eastbound traffic.

A crew showed up around 9:15 a.m. to deal with the animal. A spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said the crew decided euthanizing the moose was the best course of action to preserve public safety.

“It’s not a decision we take lightly,” MNRF spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski told Newstalk 580 CFRA. “The effects of tranquilizing aren’t immediate and they aren’t predictable so we couldn’t risk the moose running into traffic and endangering people.”

A veterinarian was consulted before the decision was made to kill the animal, Kowalski said.

According to the MNRF, the moose’s remains were to be donated to members of a local Indigenous community.

The unique situation prompted a number of Twitter users to notice the coincidence of an animal so closely identified with Canada tying up traffic in the country’s capital.

Somebody also set up a Twitter account purporting to offer the moose’s thoughts on the situation.

With files from CTV Ottawa