We do our best to coexist with wildlife, but sometimes our roads and structures get in the way of animals getting where they need to go.
Sometimes these animals need a little human help. That was the case recently, when a man was spotted helping to lift a baby moose above a highway guardrail.
The story happened this week in Anchorage, Alaska. According to Andrea Bock, a mother moose was trying to get her calf across a highway, but the guardrail was too tall for the young moose to get over.
The mom made it across the highway, but the calf was stuck, nervously pacing back and forth as cars passed by.
But then, Andrea spotted a man get out of his vehicle to help.
The man was Joe Tate, who decided the best course would be to help lift the calf above the guardrail so it could rejoin its mom. “It was tired,” Tate told KTUU. “It was very very young. Maybe a week and a half old.”
He said he considered calling wildlife services, but was worried one of the worried moose would be hit by a car before they arrived.
It was also not something to be done lightly — moose can be dangerous animals. The mother moose might’ve seen him as a threat and charged him, or might’ve rejected the calf after it made contact with him.
But Tate, a military veteran, outdoorsman and hunting guide, has experience with wildlife and said he made a calculated risk in helping the calf.
Luckily, nothing went wrong: he got the moose over the rail, and it rejoined its mom on the other side.
“It worked out for the best,” he said. “And it could have gone bad and I understand and know that. But it did go for the best, and it was worth the risk that I took.”
KTUU reports that what Tate did is technically illegal, as it is a misdemeanor offense to handle wildlife in Alaska. But Alaska Wildlife Troopers said they wouldn’t seek charges in a “good samaritan” case like this.
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