Under a tall understory of ferns and shrubs, two moose calves rest. One nibbles the other’s ear. The other spots young leaves for breakfast. They barely seem to notice the inquisitive journalists.
“Saying they have had a lot of people coming to see them is an understatement,” said Lee Ann Kramer, Revelstoke resident.
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Yes…this really happened and it was cuteness overload. Meghan and I just got to meet Clover and Chocolate, 2 rescue moose (meese?😆) found by the 6 mile paragliding Landing Zone. Unfortunately their mama was hit by a car, but after a couple days of rescue efforts by some lovely folks in the flying community, the baby calves are now safe and sound. They're heading to a conservation area near Golden on Friday. #chocolatemoose
Earlier this month, Chris Delworth, founder of Revelstoke Paragliding noticed blood on a road just south of Revelstoke. He decided to track it and eventually found an injured adult female moose. One of its hooves had been blown off from getting hit by a vehicle. Delworth called a conservation officer and the police, but when the police arrived there was nothing they could do. The moose was eventually destroyed.
A week later, Kramer, who also works for Revelstoke Paragliding, was driving home near where the adult moose died.
“And I saw this weird creature,” said Kramer.
It was a moose calf. Suddenly it clicked. Kramer said this calf probably belonged to the female adult moose that was destroyed a week prior.
Since the calf was still nursing, Kramer said it was unlikely to survive.
|The two calfs spent roughly two weeks without their mother. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)|
So, Kramer decided to bring it home to her acreage. However, easier said then done.
Soon Kramer realized there was another calf, but only managed to grab the one. Kramer said she walked up it, who was later named Clover and wrapped it in a blanket. The other ran away.
Kramer brought Clover home and called a conservation officer and a vet who said to feed it goat milk. Kramer said there was little the conservation officer could do.
A few phone calls later, the milk arrived and Kramer decided they had to find the other missing calf.
Neighbours and fellow employees at Revelstoke Paragliding took to the forest searching. One even downloaded audio of a mother moose calling its calf in the wild and played it on speaker.
Regardless, it couldn’t be found.
The next day, Kramer got a phone call. Someone had found the calf on an island in Montana Slough, which is part of Upper Arrow Lakes.
Volunteers swam to the island and canoes followed. After a combined effort, they managed to wrap the calf safely in a blanket and canoe it off the spit of land newly proclaimed by Kramer as “moose island”.
|Eventually the calf was caught using a blanket. (Lee Ann Kramer)|
Almost two weeks since their mother died, Clover and Chocolate were reunited.
Kramer managed to find a wildlife sanctuary near Golden that will take the calves until they are able to be reintegrated into the wild.
Kramer said she’s had some people voice concern on whether it was ethical to save the calves. Since the mother’s death was unnatural, Kramer reasons it was right to intervene.
“If I can help, I’m going to.”
Angelika Langen manages Northern Lights Wildlife Society near Smithers, B.C and the Golden sanctuary is an affiliate. Due to provincial laws, ungulates cannot be transported more than 400 km. These will be the first wild animals for the Golden sanctuary.
Kramer said there has also been concern with the amount of visitors/human handling Clover and Chocolate.
While Langen said human contact is not ideal as it can transfer bacteria to the moose and cause illness, in the end the calves will not become habituated to humans. In time, they will “forget”.
|Kramer said the two calves were skinny when they were found. They have fattened up since. (Carly Moran)|
Langen has raised more than a 100 moose calves and said she’s never had issues with the moose later approaching humans, such as hunters.
Langen continued that looking after the calves will be expensive as special lactose-free milk is needed.