It's springtime in Alaska, which means that moose are beginning to give birth to wobbly-legged calves, and the Last Frontier is stocked with ungulate family units. Most calves stick with their mothers for much of the first year of their life, relying on her to show them around the wild and for protection from larger predators as they continue to grow.
One such calf wasn't so lucky recently, when it was attacked and injured by dogs near the small Alaska town of Talkeetna, about 120 miles north of Anchorage, the state's largest city. The calf was rescued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and transferred to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center on Tuesday night, according to a press release from the AWCC.
Staff at the AWCC were able to stitch up the calf, and it marks the first rescued calf of the season for the Center, which is home to elk, bison, musk oxen, bears, moose and other animals. The AWCC touts another rescued moose calf -- a male named Jack who arrived at the center wounded when he was only three days old, and given a 20 percent chance of survival -- among its success stories. Some moose remain at the center, while others are reintroduced to the wild.
AWCC director Mike Miller warned spectators who see a moose calf never to approach it.
"This is the time of year that we really ask people to be aware of their surroundings," Miller said. "Moose calves are rarely abandoned by their mothers, and if you spot one in the wild, leave it be." He added that if a person is concerned about the calf they should contact Fish and Game.
Moose mothers can be very protective of their calves, often attacking any perceived threat.
The AWCC is located about an hour's drive south of Anchorage, and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in the summer.