Moose are very large, and they have a reputation of being territorial and violent toward humans. Because of this, most people don’t keep them as pets. Erikas Plucas was out one day when he found an abandoned baby moose on his land. It was small and needed help. Erikas didn’t want to leave the moose behind to die, so he decided to do something.
Erikas lived a very happy life on a farm in rural Lithuania. He lived in a remote forested area, and he loved the peaceful home that he made for himself. Often, he would explore his land and enjoy the abundance of wildlife. His days were enjoyable and typically normal except for this one day.
The Baby Moose
Making a Guess
Erikas figured that the mother had been hunted. Her baby must have been trying to find a safe place to escape, so she made her way to his farm. The baby had some injuries from her ordeal. He knew that he had to help the baby before predators could find her. Erikas says that she was starving, dirty, her fur was infested with flies and she looked scared and sad. As he got closer, he realized that the baby wasn’t strong enough to get up and run. He picked the baby up in his arms and brought her to him home. He had never been so close to a moose up to this point, and he wasn’t sure exactly what he was going to do.
Making a Phone Call
Handling It On His Own
When Erikas realized that his friends weren’t going to help, he went outside and gathered leaves and got some milk. He was hoping that the baby would want to eat something. He prepared himself for the long night that he had ahead of him. He was willing to sit up all night with the baby to nurse it back to health. Unfortunately, Animal Services didn’t come through. Lithuania doesn’t have organizations dedicated to caring for animals that have been orphaned. They offered to call a few hunters to see if they could take the baby in. Erikas absolutely refused. He was not going to give the calf to hunters because he knew what the baby’s fate would be.
Asking the Right Questions
Erikas asked Animal Services if it would be illegal for him to help the baby moose. He wanted to know if his friends were right. Animal Services told them that as long as he was committed to taking care of the baby, there was nothing illegal about him keeping the baby on his farm. They said that they couldn’t help him so he should make sure that he knew what he was getting into before making a decision. Erikas knew that he could handle it and he named the baby, Emma.
Caring For Emma
For the first few weeks, Erikas struggled to care for Emma. He compared it to
As she got older, Erikas began to introduce Emma back to the wild. They would take walks together often. Erikas wanted Emma to feel safe enough to return to the wild on her own. Emma was afraid of the woods. Erikas worried that she wouldn’t be willing to go back into the woods and that she couldn’t survive on her own. It took a while, but Emma started to feel comfortable in the forest. She often ventured out on her own and stayed in the woods for hours at a time. He was happy that she was comfortable, but he worried. When she didn’t come home at night, Erikas worried that something happened to her. He knew that he had to get over it because she was a wild animal. When she moved out on her own, she didn’t forget about Erikas, and she returned to visit him every day.
Worrying About Emma
Erikas was worried that Emma would be killed by hunters, so he invited a group of hunters to his home. He wanted them to see that Emma was her friend and not a meal that they would serve for dinner. When the hunters saw Emma and Erikas together, they all promised not to hunt her. A few of them stopped hunting moose altogether. One hunter decided to quit hunting completely. During one of her visits, Erikas noticed that her abdomen was distended. This guy releases this moose back into the wild then she returns with a surprise. Emma was pregnant. Had he not saved her life when she was a baby, she never would have had a chance. Even after she gives birth, Erikas is sure that their friendship will grow stronger.