More than a month after being picked up on a highway in northern British Columbia and driven about five hours south to Fort Nelson in a pickup truck, the little elk calf named “Misty” is healthy and doing well. is.
The update comes from the Rimrock Wildlife Rehabilitation Center near Dawson Creek, the accredited facility that adopted her from the British Columbia Conservation Service (COS) on June 7.
She now receives food and medicine as needed, and lives on 400 acres with other young ungulates of her age.
“She fits in well here. She should have no problem getting rehab,” said Jason Harvey of Rimrock Wildlife.
“We are giving her the best chance of being released.”
On June 6, Mark Skedge, a Fort Nelson resident, picked Misty up in his work truck after seeing her standing alone on the side of the Alaska Highway. Videos shared on Facebook show the calf crossing the road to join her son and peering into his car asking, “Where’s mom?”
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Skeage told Global News on Saturday that he had originally intended to scare the calf back into the forest, but decided to adopt it after seeing a black bear nearby. He said he called his employer and BC COS as soon as cell phone service was available. I hope he can do something to keep her safe once he’s back in town.
“I didn’t want to go out anymore,” Skaji explained. “She came to me and I decided to answer the phone.”
His employer, AFD Petroleum, subsequently fired Mr. Sukezi for violating workplace rules and not calling BC COS. shared two-way video from inside the truck.
The video does not show a black bear in the vicinity, nor does AFD believe it shows Skadi exhaustively searching for the calf’s mother.
“We take our obligations to wildlife and the natural environment very seriously. wrote in an email.
Mr Skaji’s dismissal and the decision to pick up and move the calf caused a stir on social media, with users expressing both support and outrage.
Angelica Langen, co-founder and manager of a licensed Aurora Wildlife Sanctuary in Smithers, said moose calves should never be picked up unless they have visible wounds or the mother is confirmed dead. said no. She added that while it may be safe to move an injured animal to the side of the road, no attempt should be made to transport it without contacting the shelter or the BC COS.
“A healthy animal should never be adopted unless observed for a longer period of time or there is explicit knowledge that the mother has been killed,” she said Monday. “Even young moose can be very dangerous.”
Langen said moose can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, another reason for the need for professional involvement.
Regarding Misty’s case in particular, she said that if the black bear was there, it could be foraging and not interested in the calves at all. But she added that giving calves attention could induce hunting behavior.
“I know it’s really hard, but from personal experience, I can only say that they endanger the animals more than they help them. Baby elk in particular are very difficult to raise in human care.” It’s very difficult,” Langen said.
“Despite their size, they are susceptible to disease.
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According to the BC Wildlife Act, it is illegal to possess or transport wild animals without a license or permit or outside the circumstances permitted by law.
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The BC COS said on June 6 that it was investigating the “suspected illegal possession of a moose calf near Fort Nelson.”
“The individual had been advised about the legality of possessing live wild animals,” COS said in an emailed statement.
“COS received second RAPP [Report All Poachers and Polluters] I will report on this incident this week. A subsequent investigation was launched based on the new information. ”
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Harvey, meanwhile, said the calves were healthy, happy and arrived in “good condition.”
“She has a pretty good chance of surviving in the wild. “It depends a lot on the weather, the amount of snow, and the predators.”
The goal is to release Misty and another moose fawn and fawn around Oct. 31, he added. Where to release them depends on the weather, local predators, and individual assessments of susceptibility to hunters.
British Columbia Environment Minister George Heyman was unavailable at a press conference on Monday, the ministry said, adding that there were no COS officials available to advise drivers on what to do if they spot a moose calf on the road. rice field.
The AFD said Sukezi’s dismissal was the result of multiple workplace incidents involving elk calves, but Sukezi told Global News he has no regrets.
“I believe that in this world we need to stand by our values and beliefs and do what we think is right regardless of the consequences,” he said.
“The moose was not harmed, the company’s pickup truck was not harmed, and no one else was harmed along the way.”
according to Article published in 2002 in the wildlife management journalPredation is responsible for 92% of pup deaths in the eastern interior of Alaska, with black bears accounting for 45% of these deaths.