LEWISTON - At first, David Jalbert thought it was a bunch of kids tramping through his yard on Libby Avenue.
In a way, it was.
Three young moose charged down a section of Main Street on Thursday night, pausing briefly at the Dunkin' Donuts at Strawberry Avenue before settling in on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge.
For nearly an hour, the three beasts lingered on an island separating the bridge on-ramp from the Lewiston-bound lanes. Cars, trucks and a few motorcycles sped past, most drivers not noticing the oddly placed wildlife.
At the side of the ramp, Jalbert and others stood watching apprehensively. When the moose first climbed onto the grassy island, things almost got hairy.
"When they crossed the street, a couple of cars almost hit them," Jalbert said.
At about 8:30 p.m., he had been sitting on his porch working on some motorcycle parts when he heard steps thumping past.
"They ran along the fence line and then shot up through here," Jalbert said. "They got to the bridge and just stopped. They've been just standing there for a little while now."
A man and woman who showed up to watch said they never saw the moose run to the area. They were standing by to see how the whole affair turned out.
Several times, the three moose attempted to cross over the Lewiston-bound lanes but were frightened by passing traffic. They tried to return the way they'd come but were stopped by traffic on that side.
The animals took another break, timed their escape and then moved on with greater success.
"They're moving back toward the woods, and away from the roads," police Lt. Mark Watson said.
He expected that the animals would retreat toward the Androscoggin River, a short distance from where they were first spotted.
Jalbert went back to his engine work.