Orphan moose calves now home at the Columbus Zoo
Three orphaned Alaskan moose calves have a new home at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. One male and one female are twins born on May 17, 2011; the other female was born Jun. 3, 2011.
The calves were rescued by Alaska Department of Fish and Game and taken to the Alaska Zoo where they were cared for until they were transported to the Columbus Zoo on Jul. 12, 2011. After completing a routine quarantine period in the Zoo’s C. Joseph Cross Animal Health Center, they can now be seen in the North America area of the Zoo.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Director Emeritus Jack Hanna spent time with them at the Alaska Zoo when they were just a few weeks old. “These babies look at you with their big brown eyes and it just melts your heart” said Jack. “We’re excited to assist in saving these moose and to bring them to central Ohio.”
The calves are currently being bottle-fed and will join the Zoo’s other moose in the future.
“Our adult moose, three of which were also rescued, are all getting older” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Dale Schmidt. “We will provide a great home for these calves and ensure our supporters will be able to see and learn about moose for many more years.”
There are seven moose subspecies and four of those are found on the North American continent. Alaskan moose can be found in Alaska, the Yukon Territory and northwestern British Columbia in marshes, ponds and lakes. They eat water plants and are browsers; consuming parts of trees such as leaves, shrubs and tender twigs.
Moose are the largest members of the deer family. An adult male moose, also called a bull, can weigh up to 1200 pounds and measure seven feet at the shoulder. Females, or cows, weigh 200-400 pounds less depending on the season. Only bull moose grow antlers.
Moose are not an endangered species but are heavily studied to learn more about how moose relate to their environment. There are currently 38 moose in 11 North American zoos.