SHEDIAC, N.B. -- A rare sighting of a moose at New Brunswick's Parlee Beach turned tragic after the animal swam into deep water and drowned.

Natural Resources personnel tried to save the moose, but it seems beachgoers and others in the water got in the way of the rescue in Shediac, N.B.

Gerald Robichaud watched as the lifeless body of the seemingly healthy two-year-old bull moose was hauled ashore by officers from the Department of Natural Resources.

Earlier in the day, Robichaud saw pictures of the moose on Parlee Beach on Facebook. He hadn’t heard the outcome of the rare sighting until later that night when he and his wife were at the nearby Point-du-Chene wharf.

"I saw something in the water," said Robichaud. "They were dragging behind, but I wasn’t sure what until I got up closer and saw the moose."

In a statement, officials with the Department of Natural Resources say when they arrived on scene, the moose was swimming about 500 metres from shore., They were in a boat and tried to guide the animal to land but it was already showing signs of fatigue. They say it drowned soon after.

Some say the crowded beach and large number of watercraft hindered the rescue.

"The moose was in constant stress," said Barry Rothfuss of the Atlantic Wildlife Institute.

After learning of the Moose’s death, the Atlantic Wildlife Institute posted a strongly worded message on its Facebook page, condemning those who, they say, wouldn’t leave the moose alone.

Rothfuss says, while the wording could have been different, the message is the same.

"People with good intent and also with not-so-good intent tend to congregate around animals in distress and they really aren’t trained or familiar with the situation," Rothfuss said. "And it sometimes makes the situation worse."

It was a sad ending to what had been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"It’s a waste," Robichaud said. "A two-year-old bull, it shouldn’t have gone down like that."

Rothfuss offered some advice if anyone sees a wild animal in an unusual location: give it some room and more than likely it will find its own way out.