Biologists in Alaska have a perplexing dilemma on their hands—they can't get people to keep their hands off baby moose.
Experts are urging people to leave moose calves alone when they come across them in the wild. This is the time of year when moose give birth and apparently people are finding them seemingly abandoned and trying to "rescue them" in really misguided ways. One moose calf found living in someone's home "as if it was a puppy," according to state biologist Todd Rinaldi. According to the AP, via Fox News, it's just an all-around bad idea:
Such encounters can lead to calves being taken to zoos or wildlife conservation centers, wildlife officials said. Taking an animal into captivity is dangerous and illegal, and it can lead to animals being injured or worse, officials said.
One moose was found tied up with electrical cord at a mobile home park:
"Evidently, some man took it upon himself to tackle it and tie it up with an electrical cord," Anchorage area wildlife biologist Jessy Coltrane said.
The calf ran off with the cord hanging from its neck, Coltrane said.
That night, police called Coltrane and told her the calf was running through the mobile home park again, this time without the extension cord.
That calf was later found and reunited with its mother, but officials warn that isn't always the case. They stress that the calves often reunite with their mothers on their own, so there's no need for all you Dr. Doolittle animal hero types to stick your noses in. I know it's tempting. Just look at the little moose face up there! I want to take him home and dress him up in one of these little Martha Stewart Dog Costumes. (A moose? In a giraffe costume? That's just madness!)
"It's people with big hearts that are well-meaning," Coltrane told the AP. "But sometimes being well-meaning and knowing what's best for the animal are two different things."
So please, keep your hands of the moose.
Image via Shutterstock.