In the pre-dawn hours one Saturday in early June, Shannon Lugdon heard the plaintive cries of a baby moose calling for its mother.
Later that afternoon, afraid the calf would wander into traffic, she and two game wardens guided her away from the road and down to a brook to wait for her mother’s return. When Shannon returned the following day, the calf was nowhere in sight, but her German shepherd, Leo, picked up her scent right away!
Looks like Miss Maggie Moose made her first friend!
It appeared this six-day-old calf had been abandoned, so Shannon and her family took over, feeding her grass, clover, and a water milkshake before taking her to a local vet near their home of Wallagrass in northern Maine.
Then back at home, she and Leo continued getting acquainted in the cutest way.
Meanwhile, Maggie imprinted on her foster family and “followed us around all day begging for attention,” Shannon wrote in a Facebook post. “You can’t imagine how affectionate she was.”
But unfortunately, she couldn’t stay with her new friends forever.
The next day, a state biologist stopped by the house and picked up Miss Maggie. They then made the long journey to Gray, a community in the southwestern part of the state.
Gray is home to the Maine Wildlife Park, which functions as a wildlife education center and, with the exception of some peacocks, features only indigenous species, just like Maggie.
When she arrived at the wildlife center, Miss Maggie was just six days old and weighed only 27 pounds. But she is thriving and after a couple months, she’s already up to 100 pounds! She’s starting to make the switch to solid foods and should be completely weaned off milk soon, but Park Superintendent Curt Johnson says she still runs to people whenever she sees them holding a bottle!
It’s unlikely she’ll ever be able to take care of herself in the wild, he added, so “she’s here to stay,” and she’ll be taking up residence with the park’s three adult moose this fall.
Let’s hope she’s not too intimidated…
But Maggie’s story is truly a win-win-win: She was rescued from abandonment, made lifelong friends, the park has a new star attraction, and attendance has been up ever since! And Shannon and her family, the ones who started this whole chain of events, have trekked to the other end of the state twice, just to make sure she’s comfortable and settling in.
Two thumbs up, guys! Share to spread thanks to everyone who helped Miss Maggie find her perfect home.
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