Moose were not an unusual sight to the driver; the calf he had spotted, however, was acting more oddly than usual. Then he realized what was going on: the baby was trapped in a wire fence. If he didn’t act quickly, then, the calf would surely die. On the other hand, though, if he attempted to help, who knew what the animal’s worried mother would do?
The driver in question is called Joel_Congo on Newsflare, and he’s a man from Canada who has gone on to achieve viral fame. That exposure, moreover, came as a result of a video that was shot on May 1, 2017; on that day, Congo was traveling in the vicinity of Edmonton when he noticed something troubling.
More specifically, it was a struggling shape on the side of the road that caught his eye. Congo subsequently realized that the creature was in fact a moose calf, and it was in some distress. That’s because the animal had caught its leg in some barbed wire, tangling its limb like a snare as a result.
“I was driving and saw the moose calf with its leg caught in the fence,” Congo later wrote on Newsflare. He wasn’t the only person who noticed, either. “I pulled over, as did another driver,” he added. And it was the fellow bystander who would record the events that followed.
“I handed [the other driver] my phone,” Congo further explained, “and he got into… his truck and recorded the video.” And apparently, according to Congo, the calf had been trying to pass through a gap in the fence when its leg had snagged in the wire. As it turned out, though, there would be something – or, rather, someone – else to consider when attempting to free the young animal.
That’s because the calf’s mother was also standing close by, waiting for her flailing baby. “I knew the fence was not enough to protect me from the moose cow,” Congo later described. And as he didn’t want to risk mother moose’s anger, he therefore had to come up with a plan to distract her.
So, Congo decided to try and frighten the older moose away before he went in to save the baby. As soon as he got closer to the fence, though, he had mommy’s attention. And, as it happens, Congo’s approach resulted in her becoming even more protective of her calf.
Then the “Good Samaritan,” as he was dubbed on Newsflare, approached gently to show that he meant no harm. Despite his calm demeanor, though, she still stood vigil over her baby. As a result, Congo tried waving his arms at her instead in order to shoo her away.
Fortunately, his efforts were a success, and the adult moose retreated into a nearby copse of trees. Congo then saw his opportunity to dash in to help the calf. But, as it turned out, the task at hand was not only difficult but nerve-racking, as Congo would recall on Newsflare.
“It took a bit of trying because the wires were tight,” Congo explained. What’s more, there was also the worry of a return visit from the moose matriarch, who could return at any moment. “My heart was pounding,” the rescuer added.
And as it happens, mommy did come back as Congo was working to free the baby. However, it seemed as if she knew that the interloper was trying to help. Indeed, although she approached her offspring, she didn’t make any violent or protective moves towards her calf while Congo worked.
In fact, Congo even got a chance to inspect the younger moose’s leg, and it was good news. “The wire had not cut through the skin,” Congo would later reveal. “So aside from being a little sore, the calf was fine.” And his efforts weren’t in vain, either.
“I got the calf free and gave it a push to let it know it was not caught anymore,” Congo added in his Newsflare post. And with that, the animal got up and ran to its mommy, who was still waiting anxiously nearby. Then both generations of moose shot off into the trees.
So was Congo in any real danger from the mother moose? Well, potentially. Indeed, despite their long faces and often adorable appearances, moose are powerful animals that can be a very real threat.
And it’s not that moose are overly aggressive or that they target humans indiscriminately; they usually avoid people, in fact. However, people sometimes don’t avoid them – and that’s where the problem lies. Therefore, when moose are approached too closely, they can feel under threat and so lash out to protect themselves or their calves.
This is especially true at certain times of the year – such as winter – when simple survival is a struggle. Fall is also a bad time to harass moose, seeing as it’s their mating season – spring, too, as this is when calves are born. It’s also worth noting that dogs and moose are mortal foes.
In large part that’s because dogs often try to chase moose, who can respond by kicking out at them with their hooves. Furthermore, if moose wander into backyards, they may even target dogs without provocation. Experts therefore say that you should just avoid moose wherever possible.
And, of course, moose can pose a real threat to people, too, as proved by a couple of violent attacks that occurred in Anchorage, Alaska, in May 2011. Initially, a girl on her bike was charged by one of the animals; then, in another attack just days later, a woman was left hospitalized with broken bones. What’s more, these encounters actually prompted a warning from local wildlife biologist Jessy Coltrane.
“The best practice around moose is to go away around a moose,” Coltrane told CBS News in May 2011. “Assume every moose is a serial killer standing in the middle of the trail with a loaded gun.” And, of course, definitely keep dogs far away from them.
If you do get too close to a moose, however, be warned: in most cases, they will feign a charge before attacking. Take this as your cue to leave, then, and run to find shelter or a barrier. Ultimately, though, keep your distance; respect nature, and it will respect you.