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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Troubled Moose

At 4:00 pm I left Idre (Sweden) in my Landrover to drive to Mörkret (Where the National Park is) to pick up 2 families for a "Peter's Fish 'n Grill" which is a nice evening out fishing and grilling sausages somewhere in the wilderness.

I arrived with the families at the remote place I selected. We needed to walk about 2 km to get to a little lake with a small shelter and a fire place. 2 hours later while grilling sausages we saw a moose walking on the other side of the lake. (not a big lake maybe 40 m across) It glanced at us but didn't care we were there and it went about its business of eating small twigs. You can imagine that the people (all Dutch) were very happy to see a moose so clearly and for such a long time. Suddenly 3 other fishers came over a hill on the other side of the lake and both they and the moose were startled. Strangely enough those idiots started to scare it of by screaming at it etc. The moose ran away.

A few minutes later, when the fishers where unpacking their gear, suddenly the moose came charging over the hill, ears back in her neck. Even before I saw the moose I felt an adrenaline rush myself. The moose stopped a few meters from the fishers, turned and showed her flank, ears back and neck low. This is very unusual and aggressive behaviour for a young moose like that. Suddenly it felt like the moose and I were in a tunnel and I told it (in my mind) to turn round and walk away as these people meant nothing good with it. Immediately she looked up at me, ears focused on me. She calmed down immediately, turned and left. Apart from being flabbergasted from what just happened I was very happy she listened.

Half an hour later we packed up our stuff and wandered the 2 km back to our cars. After about 1 km I saw the tracks of the moose walking on our path ahead of us. With only 500 m to go the track indicated the moose had stopped and turned to listen. I told the group that probably at this point she heard us coming after her. From that point she had moved to the right. Based on her previous behaviour I was a bit anxious but I still was confident she did not have any problems with us. I told the group (why did I tell the group this?) that she left the path to come back in a curve and watch us come by on the path. Sure enough, close to the cars she was standing beside a little cottage about 2m from the path we walked on. I told my group to just walk on past here feeling happy to see her but not pay too much attention to her. She just stood there watching, ears up, pretty relaxed. When we had past she turned and wandered off.

I have never experienced anything like it neither the actual behaviour of the moose nor my own actions that evening. It was a great day!


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