Young moose in care of Yukon preserve after presumed mom dies
Moose 'in relatively good shape,' according to preserve's executive director
A moose calf is in the care of a preserve near Whitehorse after appearing to have become an orphan last week.
An adult moose, presumed to be the mother, was hit by a vehicle on Hamilton Boulevard, near the Canada Games Centre, in Whitehorse on July 1, according to Kirby Meister, acting director of conservation officer services in Yukon's Department of Environment.
"She was quite injured, too badly to help her in any way, so she was put down," he said in a phone interview from Dawson City.
On July 2, there were reports of a moose calf with an injury in the same area. Members of the RCMP and the City of Whitehorse captured the moose, Meister said.
The animal was delivered to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve later that day.
"The first priority was getting the, sort of, stress that he had been under under control," said Jake Paleczny, executive director of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.
At the moment, he's "really laid-back, calm, which is great."
The moose, estimated to be between six and eight weeks of age, had some bruising on his back legs, a damaged dewclaw, and he was dehydrated but, otherwise, "in relatively good shape."
He's not particularly interested in consuming the preserve's milk replacer, Paleczny said.
"Luckily, he is eating, and eating lots and lots of willow," he said.
The preserve's staff members are "working on building a relationship with him, building that trust, so that they can work with him in a larger space."
The moose won't be released in the wild, in part because of the risks associated with a moose that's close with humans, Paleczny said.
The aim is to gradually introduce the moose to larger habitats at the preserve. If things go as planned, by next year, he can be among other moose in the same habitat.
As for the moose's maybe-momma, her meat was provided to the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Meister said.