Man Releases Moose Back Into The Wild, Then She Returns With A Surprise

Living Amongst Animals

Have you ever come across a moose? Well, one man knew that he needed to rescue a helpless moose, but he had no idea what surprise would be in store for him. As humans, we spend our lives surrounded by animals, although we rarely associate with anything bigger than a pigeon or a domestic cat. However, there are other people around the world who get up close and personal with other beasts, and this man did just that.
Living Amongst Animals

The Man In Question

However, to truly understand this story, we need to learn a little more about the man in question. Erikas Plucas is a Lithuanian farmer who currently lives in the countryside, surrounded by foliage and animals of all shapes and sizes. In fact, Erikas has the pleasure of owning a farm that sits right beside a luscious forest! It’s not uncommon for him to see a deer stroll past his window, or birds of prey flying above his fields. That’s just part of his life.
The Man In Question

Peace And Quiet

Erikas has always enjoyed the peace and quiet. He has not been one to crave the hustle and bustle of the city, and has always preferred to be surrounded by natural beauty. Because of this, he knew that he would eventually want to live on a farm and survive off the land. His dream came true when he bought his farm, but he had no idea that his life would soon turn upside down, and that this would be because of a moose.
Peace And Quiet

An Animal Lover

This Lithuanian has spent much of his life around animals, and he has grown to love them as equal living beings that need to be loved and respected. As a farmer, he has come into contact with countless animals over the course of his career, but as a human being he has welcomed cats and dogs into his homes, and tended to horses on his land. However, his knowledge of animals has also taught him which creatures he should avoid…
An Animal Lover

A Moose On The Loose

Although one of the main predator to the moose is the human, most people tend to avoid these animals. That’s largely because they can grow to huge sizes, and have often been known to measure more than 7ft tall. As if that wasn’t enough, male moose also come equipped with strong and sturdy antlers that can prove fatal to those who get in the way. Instead of greeting a moose on the loose, most people will run in the opposite direction.
A Moose On The Loose

Animals In Lithuania

Moose are normally seen closest to humans in regions around North America. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be seen by others across the world. It’s believed that there are around 7,000 wild moose in Lithuania, alongside various other large mammals that can be deemed as threatening to those who live in the country. While most people know to leave these animals to their own devices, sometimes this is impossible and people have to get involved.
Animals In Lithuania

A Beach Surprise

Lithuania is a varied and diverse country, and one that offers visitors and natives alike all kinds of terrain. Because of this, many people make their way to the beach, where they expect sandy shores, rolling waves, and fellow beachgoers. However, those lounging on Nida beach in 2014 were startled when a moose and its calf were spotted frolicking in the water. Unfortunately, the sight of humans on the sand put the momma moose into protection mode.
A Beach Surprise

Charging Into The Crowd

Although the moose was cooling off with her calf away from the fellow beachgoers, she felt threatened by the number of people around her. So, the moose ran in the direction of the crowds, and dispersed all of the people who were watching in wonder from the shoreline. Those who were taking photos and videotaping the experience found themselves running away, and telling their friends and family an unbelievable story when they got home. However, Erikas’ story is even more unbelievable.
Charging Into The Crowd

A Helpless Animal

Like many other Lithuanians, Erikas had learned not to approach or disrupt a moose. However, he just didn’t know what to do when he returned home one day to find a baby moose lying just in front of his gate. The calf seemed in bad shape, and the farmer could see that she was injured. Because of this, he assumed that the helpless animal would not be able to harm him, so he approached her with caution to get a better look.
A Helpless Animal

All Alone In The World

As Erikas walked closer to the baby, he made sure to check his surroundings. After all, he had no idea if his mother was lurking in the trees and ready to run towards him at any moment. When he was quite sure that there was no momma moose around, he was able to really look at the calf. Erikas confirmed with himself that the baby was a female moose, and that she couldn’t have been older than two weeks old.
All Alone In The World

Frightened And Vulnerable

The Lithuanian farmer tried to piece together a timeline, and wondered how the calf had wandered onto his property. The only story that made sense was that her mother had sadly perished at the hands of hunters, and that the calf had run away to find safety. In the process, however, she must have caught herself on some branches and injured herself. Because of this, she was “frightened and vulnerable,” and Erikas knew that he had to step in.
Frightened And Vulnerable

Too Weak To Stand

Although Erikas wanted to do anything he could to save the calf, the baby moose was extremely frightened. She trembled at his touch, and she was unwilling to let him get too close. However, Erikas could see the flies infesting her fur and her frail body, and he knew that he couldn’t just leave her there. With a huge amount of care and attention, he was able to scoop her up into his arms and take her into the warmth of his farmhouse.
Too Weak To Stand

Calling The Right People

When the farmer had settled the calf down on a warm blanket, he began to question his next move. He had never been in that kind of situation before, so he knew he needed professional help to assist the helpless animal. Erikas called Animal Services, but there was no way they could get out to him until the following morning. To help him through the night, he rang his friends and family for advice. Unfortunately, he wasn’t expecting their negative reaction…
Calling The Right People

Facing The Backlash

When Erikas rang those closest to him, he expected them to be sympathetic and helpful to the idea that he was looking after an animal who was close to passing away. Instead, he received enraged voices and backlash to what he had done. They told him that what he had done was illegal, and that he should have just allowed nature to take its course. Erikas knew that he couldn’t do that, so he vowed to nurse the moose back to health.
Facing The Backlash

Finding Food And Drink

In fact, he found some milk, foraged for some food for the young calf, and urged the baby to take the food and drink. He did this throughout the night, until Animal Services turned up the next morning. However, they didn’t give him the information or the help that he needed. They had nowhere to take the moose, and suggested that Erikas take the moose to hunters in the local area. This was not an option for Erikas.
Finding Food And Drink

Asking The Question

Erikas was not going to hand over the calf, as this would certainly result in the end of her life. So, he decided to ask Animal Services a wild question that he never thought he would be asking. Would he be able to keep the calf and raise it as his own? The farmer was fully expecting Animal Services to say no, and he was over the moon when they eventually allowed him to do so. He decided to call her Emma.
Asking The Question

Of Moose And Men

In general, the only interaction that occurs between humans and moose is when we hunt them. Mankind is the moose’s primary predator. That being said, for the most part, the two species avoid each other. The moose will generally avoid a human unless it is protecting its offspring. On the other hand, humans are wise to avoid moose, especially if there is a baby involved. They are absolutely massive and can do serious damage by charging and ramming us.
Of Moose And Men

History Of Domestication

People told Erikas he should leave the moose in nature, even though moose and man have a long history. Moose aren’t usually domesticated, but they can be. There are many cases of people using them for practical purposes. As its the largest and heaviest animal in the deer family, the moose has captured the imagination of many. The Algonquin Native Americans of New England, for example, believed in a spirit who had the head of a moose, the body of a man and the wings and feet of an eagle.
History Of Domestication

Carl XI

King Carl XI of Sweden, who lived in the 1600s, actually toyed with the idea of using moose instead of horses for his cavalry. This didn’t work as well as planned, though, for several reasons. For one, moose are too smart to willingly get close to gunfire. Additionally, they are pickier eaters than other animals. Finally, they proved to be particularly susceptible to common livestock diseases. Despite the allure of striking fear into the heart of his enemies with these frightening creatures, the moose cavalry plans were scrapped.
Carl XI

Russian Attempts

Although it was later discovered to be a hoax, there is an oft-repeated claim that the Soviets used moose in combat when they invaded Finland in 1940. They never did that, but there is evidence that they did seriously investigate the feasibility of such endeavors. Despite this, the Soviet moose cavalry failed for the same reason the Swedish moose cavalry did. That being said, moose have still proven their usefulness to mankind. Indeed, they pulled the sleighs of the Swedish Royal couriers. And speaking of couriers…
Russian Attempts

Jack Carr

At the turn of the 20th century, decades before the Soviets ever thought of using moose in the military, a man named Jack Carr captured the imagination of the public with the story of his two pet moose. Carr was already well-known for being one of the best couriers, who connected Alaska with the rest of civilization while the Klondike Gold Rush was underway. Although he apparently ending his mailing contract, he continued to travel that far up north. On one of these trips, he brought back two moose.
Jack Carr

Bill And Helen

Carr found the moose when they were less than a week old, naming them after President William Taft’s two children, Bill and Helen. According to a newspaper article, he fed the moose condensed milk and oatmeal until they got bigger. Carr wasn’t the only person to make a pet of his moose in Alaska back in those days, with several other notable incidents of moose pets being recorded in the annals of that great state. Nowadays, though, it’s illegal to just take a moose and make it a pet.
Bill And Helen

The Moose Whisperer

Nowadays, though, you need to have a better reason to keep moose, like Leif Lindh’s moose park, located about 60 miles northwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Lindh, who calls himself “Leffe the Moose man.” Along with his wife, Lindh has opened up a moose safari. “People thought I was crazy when I told them about my dream to start an elk safari,” Lindh said. In Europe, the moose is called an elk, whereas in North America elk refers to another species. “My friends, my family – they all said I was mad.”
The Moose Whisperer

From Hunter To Conservationist

The idea started when his cousin, a police officer and state animal-control officer, told Lindh that a baby moose needed someone to care for it after its mother was killed by a car. Lindh was a hunter,  and yet he took care of the moose until she died. “I cried when she died, but from then I got it in my head that I would start a moose park. I said that to all of my friends.” What did his friends think?
From Hunter To Conservationist

“They Told Me I Was Crazy”

“They told me I was crazy,” Lindh recalls. “My wife called me crazy.” When the park opened in 2007, few people showed up, but within a few years, people from over 100 countries came to visit the moose. “There are only 250,000 in Sweden right now,” Lindh explained, “and only 10-12 countries in the world have them in the wild. Some people go to Africa to see elephants, some come to Europe to see elk. I’ve just made that easier to achieve.”
“They Told Me I Was Crazy”

Swimming With The Moose

“As far as I know I’m the only person in the world who swims with elks,” Lindh said. His approach is clearly much different than many other conservationists, who prefer a more hands-off approach. Lindh said, “I come out into the woods and sleep between the calves and their mother for the first few days of their lives. They get used to my voice, my smell.” As he kisses one of these majestic creatures, it’s clear he has a very special connection, just like Erikas.
Swimming With The Moose

Growing Attached

Over the next few weeks, Erikas had to give Emma special care and attention. She had to be fed every few hours, and he had to keep an eye on her to make sure her health didn’t deteriorate. Because of this, Emma became extremely attached to the farmer. She followed him around the house and the surrounding fields, and she even wanted to sleep next to him. However, Erikas was conscious of the fact that she was getting bigger as each week passed…
Growing Attached

Back Into The Forest

Erikas knew that he couldn’t take care of Emma forever, so he decided to put a plan into place. Over the course of a few weeks, he would slowly but surely reintroduce Emma into her natural habitat. He would take her deeper into the trees, show her what foods she could eat and how to forage for them, and he helped her to trust these new surroundings. He hoped that he would eventually be able to let Emma roam free.
Back Into The Forest

Going Off On Her Own

After tirelessly working to help Emma feel comfortable amongst the trees, she began to explore on her own. She would venture into the woods in the morning, and not come back until the evening. Although this filled Erikas with joy, it also worried him. He was like a concerned father, but he ultimately knew that it was for the best. Of course, Emma wasn’t done with him just yet. She had a surprise in store that would change Erikas’ life.
Going Off On Her Own

Moving Away From Home

In the end, Emma ventured into the forest and did not return. Erikas assumed that she had permanently left him and her old life behind, and he was happy for her. However, that didn’t mean that she had permanently left behind the man who had saved her. The moose would make her way out of the trees every single day to say hello to Erikas, and she would do so without fail. They had a bond, and nothing could break it.
Moving Away From Home

Getting Them On Her Side

Although Erikas was excited to see that Emma had not forgotten her home, he was also incredibly concerned for her welfare. The forests were rife with hunters who would stop at nothing to put Emma on their dinner plate, and he couldn’t bear the thought of that. In order to combat this, he invited the hunters in the area to meet Emma. He wanted them to get to know her, and to get them on her side.
Getting Them On Her Side

The Plan Worked

Amazingly, the plan worked, and the hunters agreed that they would keep an eye out for the deer and not hunt her. Erikas was over the moon, and he couldn’t wait to see his baby grow into an impressive and remarkable beast. He has since shared his story, to show the world that moose aren’t always aggressive and dangerous creatures. However, he didn’t know the full story himself, as Emma had a surprise in store for her Lithuanian farmer father…
The Plan Worked

The Next Generation

As the weeks went by and Emma continued to live in the wild, while making daily trips back to the farm, Erikas began to notice something a little strange about Emma’s appearance. Although she had put on weight since being rescued, her stomach looked significantly more plump. Erikas soon realized that Emma was pregnant, and would be expecting her own baby imminently. We can’t help but hope the next generation loves Erikas as much as Emma does!

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