Be on the look-out for an orphaned moose calve. Photo by Marcie Welsh

Efforts underway to save orphaned baby moose

Last week, a cow moose with two calves was killed by a motor vehicle on Highway 3 west of Fernie in between the Lizard Creek Bridge and Ski Hill Road.

In coordination with the Conservation Officer Service, wildlife rescue volunteer Colleen Bailey organized efforts to find and save the orphaned moose calves.

On Saturday afternoon one of the moose calves was hit by a motor vehicle on Highway 3 and had to be euthanized by a conservation officer as its injuries were serious, said Patricia Burley, a conservation officer for the East Kootenay Zone.

“It’s a sad situation, especially with the one calf getting hit so soon after its mother,” said Burley. “We do not have a large population of moose here so we want them to flourish when they can. I want to thank the volunteers of the East Kootenay’s and the members of the public who have helped with the search efforts or reported sightings to us.”

The Conservation Officer Service is still on the lookout for the surviving calf. If it is successfully captured, it will be transported to a licensed rehabilitation facility in Nelson, where it would be bottle fed and cared for until it is strong and old enough to be released back into the wild.

“This is not unusual,” said Burley. “Too many animals get hit on the highway, it’s just what happens. Spring is a tough time for wildlife as they all have young ones that can be more at risk from incidents, people and predators.”

Burley said the calf is too young to survive on its own as it will need to sustain itself on milk until the fall. If it is not captured Burley said the calf will either starve, fall prey to predators or get hit by a motor vehicle.

Last week, Bailey was organizing volunteers to conduct searches for the moose calves. She posted regular reports on Facebook. She spent all day Saturday trying to capture the moose calves with other volunteers.

“She is a dedicated wildlife rescue volunteer who helps all kinds of animals who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance of survival,” said Burley. “She spends a tremendous amount of her free time trying to capture, care for and transport animals to rehab throughout the area.”

If you see the moose calf or are able to help in a coordinated search effort, please call or text 250-919-6207.