A photo of a sickly-looking moose at the Chippewa Wildlife Exhibit is unflattering, but the animal is actually fine, a city of Thunder Bay spokesperson says.
The picture has been circulating on Facebook, sparking concern about the animal's welfare.
Park supervisor Gordon John said the moose is well-fed and healthy, but noted, at this time of year, animals don't always look their best.
"It's a tough time of year for them," he said. "It's hot, it's wet, it's lots of flies, and when you're sometimes caught in the heat of the day, or the middle of the day when they're tired and just lounging around, I guess they don't look too well."
Although everything seems fine the moose has an appointment for a check-up with the vet, just to be on the safe side, John said.
'We've done our part'
A Chippewa Park visitor took a photo of the moose lying down "and it wasn't too flattering of a picture, and they were quite worried that it was malnourished and underfed and being mistreated," John said. "But we came to the conclusion that it was the opposite."
On speaking with the animal’s attendant John was told the moose has been eating regularly and there is nothing out of the ordinary.
The moose's diet includes five gallons of dairy a day, two gallons of "moose maintenance" (a special feed mixture), half a dozen apples, half a dozen carrots, fresh water, hay and fresh poplar or birch leaves.
"We've raised this one from day one," John said. "The Ministry of Natural Resources brought him to us [after] his mother was killed. He was two-days old and he wasn't expected to live. We bottle-fed him and nurtured him along, and he's been with us for over five years. So we've extended his life that far … we've done our part, with all the resources that we have."