On Sunday morning, Andrea Bock was driving through Clam Gulch, Alaska, when traffic stopped. A mother moose and her calf attempted to cross the highway, but the tired calf struggled to get over the guardrail. The moose was becoming anxious after being separated from her calf, and traffic was building on the busy road.
Bock sat for about 20 minutes in her car, watching the calf trying to find the end of the guardrail. “The calf would get close to the end of the guardrail, but the mother would always bring him back to the center, further away from the end,” Bock explained to The Dodo. “I believe the mother kept bringing him back to the center because it was the only section without cars.”
While returning home from a fishing trip with his friends, Joe Tate was also stuck in his car. He, too, was watching the drama unfold and decided to take action to bring the family back together.
“After nearly 30 minutes of frantic pacing back and forth and the line of traffic growing by the minute,” Bock said, “a gentleman from the northbound lane of traffic came and assisted the calf.” “He waited until the mother was on the other side of the highway.” As he quickly grabbed the calf and placed him over the guardrail with his mother, traffic blocked her view.”
A stressed moose, especially one with young, can be extremely dangerous to humans. If a mother moose feels threatened, she may charge, stomp, or kick to protect her young, so keep a safe distance. While interfering with wildlife is never good, this situation demanded immediate action.
Fortunately, Tate and his friends had planned to distract the mother by driving a trailer in front of her.
“At the time, I had no idea the friends had devised a plan to block the mother’s view, so I was nervous for the guy,” Bock explained. “I assumed he was just hoping the mom would leave him alone long enough for him to grab her baby.”
Tate approached the calf, who was grateful for the assistance. “The calf looked so exhausted that he practically walked into his arms,” Bock explained. “It was really neat.”
Tate helped the calf return to his mother and the small family to cross the road safely. “I understand and know that it could have gone wrong,” Tate told KTUU. “But it worked out in the end, and it was worth the risk I took.”
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