Saskatoon

Mac the Moose loses his antlers, but will soon have a bigger rack

Mac’s rack has undergone an ‘antler-ectomy’. Moose Jaw’s famous moose sculpture had its antlers sawed off Wednesday to make way for a bigger rack.

Moose Jaw citizens intent on reclaiming tallest moose in the world title

Mac the Moose has lost his antlers. But he'll have a new, bigger rack this fall. (CBC News)

Mac's rack has undergone an 'antler-ectomy'.

Moose Jaw's famous moose sculpture had its antlers sawed off Wednesday to make way for a bigger rack.

It's all part of Mac's quest to regain the title of tallest moose in the world.

Workers carefully begin the delicate operation of a 'antler-ectomy’ on Mac the Moose. (CBC News)

Right now that title belongs to Norway's moose sculpture called Storelgen. That statue measures 30 centimetres higher than Mac.

For 31 years, Mac the Moose held the world's biggest moose record, with the concrete sculpture standing 9.8 metres (32 feet) high.

Mac the Moose (left) was dethroned as the largest moose statue in the world by Storelgen in Norway. (Natascia Lypny/CBC, Mariusz.ks/Shutterstock)

But a few years ago the taller, shiny metal moose statue in Norway was erected.

"We recognize that their moose is a very, very handsome and shiny moose," said Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie. "And so I think they win the good looks award, but we're going to win the height award."

The local team of volunteers led by Brysen Bert of Steady Metalworks cut off Mac's antlers.

Mac the Moose will stand at roughly 10.36 meters (34) with his new antlers. (CBC)

Rion White of Orion Taxidermy is tasked with making the new, larger antlers.

"(We're) very excited to sculpt Mac's new rack and restore the title for our notorious moose. It's amazing to be a part of Moose Jaw history," White said.

Jacki L'Heureux-Mason, executive director of Tourism Moose Jaw, the last five months of media attention have been a boon to the local economy and it has brought the community together.

Moose Jaw's Mac stands almost 10 metres high. (CBC News)

She said in May alone tourism was up more than 30 per cent.

"If that trend continues we are probably going to be looking at an extra 10,000 people through our doors. Just our doors [at Tourism Moose Jaw] and that represents about one in 10 visitors," L'Heureux-Mason said.

"He has brought people off the highway and then he lets us do our job and tell everybody about the amazing things Moose Jaw has to offer."

She said Mac should have his new antlers, which are estimated to cost between $10,000-$15,000, sometime this September. It is estimated Mac will stand 10.4 meters (34 feet) with his new antlers. 

Mayor Tolmie said Mac's story has resonated around the world.

"We had someone from Moose Jaw meet someone from Norway in the Falkland Islands and all they could do was talk about the moose," he said.

Workers prepare to remove Mac the Moose's antlers. (CBC News)

"He is really the guardian of our gates. He has been a stalwart for the last 35 years of our community welcoming people in.

"This is a global story that has repercussions of bringing people into our community and that is what we wanted."

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