Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, November 07, 2014

Close Up And Personal --
Calling The Shots

"We were in awe. So we walked, slowly up a few feet, and we stood there, and the moose started walking towards us. So we stood there and it came towards us, no intimidation. We were respectful of it, but he put his nose out and Carl reached and touched his nose and petted him, and I did as well, and got some awesome pictures of him."
"I’m very sad today. When I found out this morning that he was gone. You’ve made a connection. You meet someone and you make a connection and it’s a sad day. And I fully respect what the rangers have to do; it’s not an easy job. But I just wish he’d had a second chance."
"I believe if they checked it out and gave it a tranquilizer to see if it was healthy it would still be around."
"I believe it had lost its mother and I believe that was why it was staying around longer than usual."
Beatrice Messer, Tweedside, New Brunswick

"It was very unfortunate, especially for the people in the area who had grown attached to it."
Marc Belliveau, communications director, Department of Natural Resources, N.B.

"There was something wrong with that moose because it didn't act like a normal moose, it was too tame and wasn't ambitious to get away from us. ... Wild animals don't want anything more to do with you than you want to do with them most of the time."
"I’m upset. I can understand DNR’s doing away with it, because it was lying on the road and becomes a hazard to traffic."
Carl Veil, resident, Tweedside, New Brunswick

"Brainworm is a terrible sickness that affects a great number of moose. There is no cure and [it] is fatal."
"The wildlife officials did the right thing if the moose did indeed suffer from brain worms. Relocation would not have been any help as the animal would have continued to suffer until it died a slow death."
Mark Allardyce, moose expert, all-about-moose
Photo: BRUCE MESSER   A young moose posing for pictures along the highway near Tweedside, NB.

That's quite the bit of serendipity, the animal so friendly that it amazed area residents when it approached them and stood quietly by as they stroked it. The presence of the large beast was anything but threatening; it represented one of those rare accords with wild nature, a meeting of nature's animals with no obvious intention other than to communicate across the species barrier of language and differentiation.

Wildlife officers had examined the young moose several weeks back, finding it healthy. It had been spotted in the area a month ago. Ms. Messer had recently seen the young female when she had been walking with her neighbour, Mr. Veil, a few days earlier in the week on the way to fetch their mail. The young animal had been standing nearby their group mailbox, and when it sighted them, it walked toward them, advanced its snout in a friendly manner and stood still while it was petted.

The moose was well known to others in the small hamlet, allowing them to touch it, posing for photographs and wandering about on the nearby road. Occasionally presenting as a traffic nuisance. And then on Tuesday night a call came in to wildlife officers that the moose was lying in the middle of the road, heedless of traffic and apparently comfortable where it was, not amenable to moving.

Beatrice Messer advanced her opinion that the juvenile most likely felt comfortable on the road which had soaked up the sun and presented as a warm bed to her animal instincts. The moose, she insisted, was fine, alert and other than sticking around the sparsely populated town, behaving as any moose would do.

But when wildlife officers appeared and the moose refused to move, it was theorized to be suffering from brainworm and it was shot.

The town is understandably upset. The moose's head has been sent to veterinarians in the Department of Agriculture to ascertain whether it was indeed suffering from brainworm as was assumed -- or advanced for the reason why the wildlife officer shot it on the spot, where it sat complacently in the middle of the road.

The town's residents are awaiting the results of that autopsy. Should the now-dead animal be given a clean bill of health many people will be far more upset than they are now
BRUCE MESSERPhoto: BRUCE MESSER   A young moose posing for pictures along the highway near Tweedside, NB.

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