Moose wrangling: just another day in the life of a wildlife officer

Published: June 11, 2020

Dayna Brand, an officer with Alberta Fish and Wildlife, is used to finding herself in unusual situations with wildlife. On this particular occasion, it was no different.

“There’s no such thing as a typical day, and that’s probably what I love most about this job,” Brand says.

She responded to reports of two orphaned moose calves near Sherwood Park. Upon arrival, she discovered two babies, a male and female, in the bush.  After Brand confirmed an adult moose had been struck and killed, she set to work on retrieving the babies for relocation to a wildlife rehabilitation centre.

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There is only a handful in the province that are permitted to accept moose because they are incredibly time-consuming to raise. Typically the babies will be raised by the mother for a year.

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At one to two weeks old, they were “way too young to be on their own. They wouldn’t have been able to survive,” Brand says.

She and the person who called in the report managed to wrangle the moose calves and get them in her truck leading to some hilarious pictures. It was no easy feat lifting the 80-to 90-pound babies either.

“They’re cute, and you think they’re little but the one I grabbed had some fight in him,” she said.

At the wildlife rehabilitation, a staged approach will be taken to reintroduction. After a year, the babies will be put into a large pen with an open gate to the wild. They will be able to come and go as they please until they feel comfortable enough to leave for good.

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