MOOSE MEAT AND HUMANS
A woman who last a gold ring found it three years later in a stew made with moose entrails. In 1993, she lost the ring while helping her husband push their car out of snowdrift. It is believed that the ring landed on a pine branch that the moose ate. The woman knew that the ring was hers because a distinctive crack on its side was the reason the ring fell off to begin with.
In Anchorage, Moose sometimes come out of the mountains and forest and feed on shrubs, trees and garden plants and run amok, terrorizing local citizen but doing little bodily harm. In Vermont, a bull buss took over a farmer's her of Holstein cows and chased the owner off when ever he approached to do his daily milking. In the end the bull was tranquilized and moved away by game wardens.
Moose produce a lot of meat. During the 19th century and early 20th century thousands of them were kill for food and sport and their numbers dropped. Since then numbers have rebounded to almost what they were before the hunting began, probably more because there are fewer predators, namely wolves, around. Moose have lost some of their habitat to settlements, roads and competition from man and other species but they have also gained habitat due to logging and forest fires.
Moose meat is highly nutritious. Unlike venison, which is usually dried for preservation, moose meat can be preserved in brine and corned so it taste like corned beef. Moose muzzle is considered a delicacy in Alaska and has been described as "rich, delicate and somewhat gelatinous" and "white and tender as spring chicken, yet firm and substantial as fresh beef." Moose lips, which may be the same thing as moose muzzle, are considered a delicacy in China. In the old days, moose leather was used to make moccasins and clothing.
About 90,000 moose are taken by hunters every year. Hunter often try to attack males by imitating the calls of females. Woody Allen, in his early days as a stand up comedian, did a routine about trying to bring a killed moose back home tied to the roof of a car.
Moose on the Loose
In June 2014, a moose rampaged through the streets of Helsinki for several hours. Sophie Jane Evans of the Daily Mail wrote: “The runaway elk spent a staggering seven hours dashing through the streets of Helsinki. The animal was first spotted at around 3am (1am GMT) and later captured hurtling past a dog walker by local Sakarias Laukkanen. Police were called and spent 'the rest of the night' chasing the 'erratically-behaved' animal, according to Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat. But unfortunately, at around 10am, they decided they had no choice but to shoot and kill the moose. A police spokesman said: 'They had been hoping to spare the animal by directing him towards the sea so it could swim away.' But one resident in Helsinki, which has a population of only around 600,000, appeared less sympathetic about the animal's demise. She told the paper: 'It just shows what a small rural town Helsinki is. I've just told my neighbour - make sure your freezer is empty as there is so much fresh meat on offer.'[Source: Sophie Jane Evans, Daily Mail Online, June 11, 2014]
Drunken Moose on the Loose in Russia
In May 2014, a drunken moose, named Monty, was spotted running trough Semenov, Russia, after eating a pile of fermented berries. The drunken animal was caught on camera running through the streets, before plunging into a pond in the middle of the city. The pond's concrete sides made it impossible for Monty to climb back out, but he was saved from drowning after police took to the water with a rope. [Source: Sophie Jane Evans, Daily Mail Online, June 11, 2014]
Sophie Jane Evans of the Daily Mail wrote: Monty was spotted on the loose in Semenov, near Russia's Volga River, after chomping his way through on a pile of fermented berries. Semenov police officer Pavel Mihachkov said that moose - which can reach almost 7ft tall and weigh up to 1,500lbs - tend to gravitate towards the first fruit falls at this time of year. Apples, cherries, apricots and other assorted fruits fall from trees during storms, ferment on the ground and become an intoxicating brew for such creatures, he said. 'He was so sozzled he could barely stand. He obviously found a bunch of fermenting berries or something and really went for it'
Mr Michachkov said Monty had appeared 'bonkers on booze', adding: 'It was a magnificent specimen but he was so sozzled he could barely stand. 'He obviously found a bunch of fermenting berries or something and really went for it. 'We managed to rope him and get him transported to an animal shelter for the night where he slept it off. 'Vets said the moose had the mother and father of all hangovers the next day but he will soon be ok. 'He will be tranquillised and driven out to a remote spot where it is hoped he won't find his way back to the big city any time soon.' Despite Monty's plight, it is unlikely he will learn his lesson. Experts calculate moose like him get 'drunk' around 50 times in their lives.
Drunk Moose Alert Issued in Southern Norway
November 2002, a drunken moose alert was issued in southern Norway.According to a report from the Newspapers' News Bureau (ANB), the reason behind the warning is this year's early snowfall. A warm summer has led to an unusual bounty from the region's fruit trees. The sudden and early snowfall has left some fruit under snowy cover, while still more remains on the branch. This fruit is fermenting, and also a readily available and tempting source of food for the region's moose. [Source: Newspapers' News Bureau (ANB), November 29, 2002]
"This is the first time I have heard that moose are getting drunk. But I assume that they react the same way people do to intoxication - some become harmless while others are the exact opposite," said district veterinarian Paul Stamberg in Kristiansand. Martin Kolberg, head of the local animal committee in Telemark, warns people to beware of drunken moose. "Be careful when you approach moose that have been munching apples for days. Their behavior can alter and they can become frighteningly aggressive. Clap and see how it reacts. If it doesn't retreat but instead comes even closer, by all means stay vigilant. It can be intoxicated and attack," Kolberg told newspaper Faedrelandsvennen.
Moose Destroys House in Finland
In June 2001, Ananova reported: “An elderly couple in central Finland are in shock after a large elk smashed through a kitchen window and landed on their breakfast table. The elk, which walked through the three-paned window, was injured by the glass and bloodied the interior of the house before police shot and killed it. The animal broke through the ground-floor window of Anja and Matti Piippo's house in the centre of Muhos, 370 miles north of Helsinki. [Source: Ananova, June 19, 2001]
A police spokesman said: "We had no alternative but to shoot it. It was badly injured and confused and we couldn't get it out of the house. Mrs Piippo, 73, was treated for minor injuries from broken glass. Her husband was not hurt. The elk broke the table, a stove and a microwave oven before continuing into the sitting room. It apparently had given birth in the spring as it was oozing milk. "It was probably searching for its fawn, but we found no other elk nearby," the police spokesman added.
Once a contestant in the Iditarod dog sled race was forced out because a cow moose attacked her team and killed one dog and injured several others. Describing his encounter with a seven-foot female moose, Colorado Rep. Bob Scahffer said, "She had a look in her eyes saying, 'I don't know who you are, but I'm going to kill you.'" In March 2005, according to the Anchorage Daily News, a moose that sat on a 6-year-old was killed, The moose was used to being fed by neighborhood children. .
The naturalist Ernest Thompson wrote: "Woe to the hunter whose eye or nerve fails him, when he is chased by the giant bull. I know of more than one lifelong cripple, and have heard f more than one death, as the result of the monster's headlong charge." While on hunting trip Theodore Roosevelt was charged by a bull moose. He wrote afterward it came at him "at a slashing trot, shaking his head, his ears back, the hair on his withers bristling." Roosevelt shot it when it was "not 30 feet off."
In May 2011, a moose attacked a girl on a bicycle in Anchorage a day after giving birth to twins. Associated Press reported: “A moose attacked a girl on a bicycle after Anchorage police say the animal had given birth to twins a day earlier. Police killed the moose after the attack. The child who fell from her bike sustained injuries to her head, but they are not considered life threatening. She's been hospitalized. Police say the same moose chased a jogger in the same area earlier in the day. The jogger was not harmed. Bystanders were upset by the decision of the police and the state Department of Fish and Game to put the moose down, but a police spokeswoman said other options were not feasible. The moose's two calves have been taken to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. [Source: Associated Press, May 18, 2011]
In May 2012, Upi reported: “An Anchorage, Alaska, girl was hospitalized after a wild moose chased her down and trampled her, police said. Two girls were playing in the street when a moose charged in their direction, sending them on a chase, Anchorage Police Department spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said. The girls, ages 11 and 6, ran to a playground and climbed onto what Parker described as a playhouse. "The moose got tangled up in it and yanked it down," Parker told the Anchorage Daily News. The younger girl was "severely stomped on the arm and had hoof marks on her back," Parker said. She was taken to the hospital for treatment. The older girl was hit by the collapsing playground equipment. Her injuries were treated at the scene, and she was sent home. [Source: UPI, May 18, 2012]
Moose Rampage Blamed on Brain Worm
In September 2012, Vermont resident Brent Olsen awoke to find a bull moose messing with his car. He tried to get the moose away. After he fetched his camcorder, the moose became erratic and then violent. Experts said the unusual behavior was the result of a brain worm. [Source:Erik Ortiz, New York Daily News, September 5, 2012]
Erik Ortiz wrote in the New York Daily News: “A Vermont man’s encounter with a manic moose started off “cute,” but ended in horror as the animal had to be put down by a state game warden. Brent Olsen of Westford awoke Sunday to find a bull moose with its hoof on his car. He tried to shoo him away, he told CBS affiliate WCAX. “I started hollering at it, ‘Do not jump on my car, Mr. Moose!” Olsen said.
“He soon became fascinated and clutched a camcorder to tape the creature’s erratic behavior — which appeared as if he were inebriated. “A moose with ivy in its horns — I thought it was kind of cute.” he told WCAX. But Olsen quickly changed his tune when the beast — which typically weighs more than 800 pounds — bolted toward him. “It scared the crap out of me,” he added. The video shows the moose charging Olsen, who flew out of the way. At another point, the animal is seen walking in circles, even bumping into a flag pole. Olsen said the moose rammed into his home four times before a state game warden arrived.
So why was he acting out? Vermont Fish and Wildlife Lt. Curtis Smiley told WCAX the moose was exhibiting symptoms of brain worm, a parasite that lives in grazing mammals. “I have never seen a moose act like that,” Smiley said. In the end, officials decided to shoot the moose. “Very sad to see a beautiful, healthy animal suffer from something like this,” Olsen said.
Moose, Car Crashes and the Elk Test Debacle
In Sweden and Alaska, moose are so plentiful they are regarded as a major hazard for cars and trains. In the winter of 1984-85, 384 moose were killed on the Alaskan Railroad, 281 of them on a single 95-mile stretch of track. Collisions with moose are so common in Scandanavia that Volvo and Saab design their cars to withstand impact with the massive animals. According to one scientist, "There's a ten time greater likelihood of being injured by hitting a moose than by hitting a deer."
In the 1990s, Daimler-Benz decided to enter the small car market with a "Baby Benz" A Model. During a series of tests in Sweden to decide "Car of the Year" by a Swedish car magazine, the car rolled over in an elk test ( in which the car is suddenly turned with brakes at 37 mph to simulate the reaction of a driver to a large object in the road like an elk, which in Europe describes a moose).
After the elk test failure a number of jokes were made a car. One went: "How do you park an A-Class Mercedes? Answer: "Just drive along side a space and fall in." Just 19 days after the debacle, Daimler-Benz announced a plan to solve the problem. Over $175 million was spent making modification on the car, improving the tires and installing a computer system that helped balance the car on tight turns. The "Baby Benz" elk test crisis on caused a temporary blip in sales of the cars.
Flying Moose Lands on Car's Roof in Southern Norway
A leisurely Sunday drive for a couple in southern Norway came to an abrupt end when a fully grown moose suddenly landed on the roof of their car. "We didn't even have time to think when there came this enormous thud," said a shaken Leo Henriksen after the bizarre incident. He and his wife were cruising along the two-lane Highway 405 in their little red Mazda. [Source: Aftenposten English Web Desk, February 24, 2003]
According to Aftenpsoten: “The couple was a few kilometers south of Vatnestrom in Iveland township, Aust-Agder, when their involuntary encounter with the moose took place. The moose, a female weighing some 350 kilos (770 pounds), apparently had been running through the forest when she suddenly came upon a cliff leading down to the highway. Unable to stop, the moose seemed to literally fly off the cliff, landing first on the Henriksen's car before catapulting further into the oncoming lane.
The moose-versus-motorist drama ended when Randi Olsen, driving in the oncoming lane with her young daughter, was unable to stop and hit the moose that was now lying in the road. The moose was dead when wildlife authorities arrived on the scene. Henriksen suffered minor hand injuries, while his wife and the Olsens emerged from the incident without a scratch. Both cars, however, were severely damaged. Henriksen told the Kristiansand newspaper Faedrelandsvennen that he and his wife lost their house in a fire in mid-January. Now they've lost their car as well, and were hoping for a sympathetic meeting with their insurance agent on Monday.
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, U.S. government, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.
Last updated May 2016