June 21, 2018

Literal Maine: Stating the Obvious

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Lots of Snow Still in Maine

This photo taken in Jackman, Maine on Friday, March 20, 2015

JackmanSnow

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N.H. Couple Snowmobiling Gets Attacked by Moose

On Saturday, I was sent a link to a story and a video of a New Hampshire couple snowmobiling near Jackman, Maine near the Canadian border recently. The story tells of how the moose, “suddenly veered off the snowmobile track, turned around and charged them.” I watched the video and was left with what I thought was a reasonable question: Why were they following this moose in the manner they were, forcing the moose to move at an accelerated pace, especially during this time of year?

The time of the year is April in Northern Maine. At time most critical for wild ungulates, i.e. deer and moose. Fat reserves are all gone, green-up is still a few weeks away so food is in short supply and the animals are probably emaciated from carrying around winter moose ticks. In short, the moose is in no condition to be fleeing from the pursuit of two snowmobiles.

In the article linked to above, it states that the couple reported the incident to “authorities” and they, “told them that the situation was handled properly.” I’m not sure exactly what that means. Did they handle the situation properly because they notified authorities, or were they told following the moose, perhaps causing the moose to turn and attack, was the right thing to do?

From my perspective, and yes I was not there, the video tells a different story. Under the circumstances I have described above, it is my opinion that these people should not have been chasing a moose down the snowmobile trail. Their actions caused the moose to stop the relentless pursuit and attack his tormenter.

It seems I was not completely alone in my thinking, as later in the day, I received another link to this story. A New Hampshire wildlife official who viewed the same video said, “So I hate to be judgmental, but clearly if they had followed it for a while, there’s a chance it pushed the animal to its limits and it decided to become a bit more aggressive in protecting itself.”

Sometimes people should show a bit more patience and respect for animals like this and just stop and take a break and see if the moose is going to go about his business, eventually getting out of the way. The video shows the two snowmobilers hot on the moose trail; something that shouldn’t be done at anytime of the winter.

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