Moose twins relocated from Grand Lake likely survived winter
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado
Twin moose calves rescued last summer off the south shore of Grand Lake and relocated to the Williams Fork area probably made it through the winter, according to District Wildlife Manager Kirk Oldham of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Around late December/early January, radio collars on both moose fell off as designed, Oldham said.
Until the moose outgrew their collars, district wildlife officers tracked them weekly to ensure they were able to survive in the wild after a stressful relocation from their original surroundings in Grand Lake.
Until early winter, the twin moose “hung out with one another,” Oldham said. Then by December, the calves separated, putting more than a mile between them, he said.
After that, wildlife officials lost track but assume they survived the winter and are still living in Middle Park.
The moose were orphaned when their mother died from natural causes along the shore of Grand Lake in the backyard of a summer residence.
Occupants of the residence who witnessed the visibly ill cow with twin calves contacted the DOW.
Upon their mother’s death, the three-month-old calves remained by her side for more than a day.
“They were weaned off of mom, but moose are still tied to their mother up to a second year,” Oldham said.
Helpers resorted to the use of super soakers and cowbells as distractions to deter the young moose while DOW officials collected the body of the mother.
The decision was made to leave the twins, a male and a female, but as more time passed, it became evident the calves would not leave the inhabited area, Oldham said.
DOW officials ended up tranquilizing the animals and transporting them in a horse trailer to the Williams Fork area, where they were released with radio collars.
“We didn’t want them to become habituated and become dangerous to people,” Oldham said.
Only in rare circumstances will DOW relocate wild animals, he said, because of the stress it can cause them.
The last incidence of relocating moose Oldham recalled was about five years ago when a mother and calf took up residence along I-70 near Silverthorne.
The alternative for the Grand Lake twins might have been to grow up in the backyards of houses.
“The important thing is they made it through that critical time and were given an opportunity to be wild moose,” Oldham said.
” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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