Montana man saves moose; park authorities blow it up

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WHITEFISH, Mont. — A Montana camper saved a newborn moose, only to have it blown up by park authorities, together with its dead relatives.

Josh Hohm was camping at Gallatin National Forrest late last month when he spotted the orphaned calf.

The calf’s mother had died after giving birth to twins, according to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. One of the twins lay dead alongside its mother.

Hohm found the calf that survived, took a few photos with it, and sought help.

“The camper called the sheriff and they called us, and our warden went up to euthanize the animal,” Montana FWP said.

Since the calf never suckled on its mother to get the necessary nutrients, authorities said, it would not have survived even if they rehabilitated it.

Wildlife officials said it was not an issue of cruelty. It was an issue of policy.

“We have a policy to not rehabilitate moose, deer and elk because of disease,” the FWP said. “We rehabilitate bears but we are not staffed to take care of animals that transmit disease.”

The moose was euthanized, then blown up, together with the carcasses of its mother and sibling. They were in a public campground and risked spreading diseases, authorities said.

“We are not grim reapers; we are in this business because we care about animals,” the FWP said.

CNN’s attempts to reach Hohm were unsuccessful.

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  • Think about it i dare you

    even lookin at the big picture its still a crock of shit that the had to kill it and the excuse was to keep people from getting sick pelase get real no one was gonna get sick and yea it would have survived who the hell are you to say it wouldnt just because it didnt suck her tits……..the logic of some people is just stupid !

  • 641ao

    You 2 above me are dense are hell. For one, do you think the warden just thought gee it wont live, or studies have shown that the newborn doesn’t survive without it’s mother. Two, they humanely killed the animal, media headlines would like you to believe they strapped c4 to the damn thing and had some backyard fun. C’mon idiots.

  • Cheryl

    Wow I never thought I would read this. I know a good vet who would not have liked this. He treated everything including wild animals. Seems to me there could have been a better way too. Colostrum can be given in a feeding if that was the issue.

    • EastboundAndDown

      We all wish we could have people ready to rescue all the animals in the wild but we can’t. There are rational policies in place to handle the situations and while it isn’t always what we want to happen we simply can’t save them all or frankly even a tiny percentage. That is what living in the wild is about.

  • hellomurica

    And of course people who know nothing and wanted the animal to live, despite the high risk of endangering the lives of other moose, are blathering on. You people are ridiculous, and you’re advocating to have other animals suffer as a result of your stupid emotions. Let the experts do their job.

  • Rainmetal

    Quite being such a bunch of dimwitted weaklings. Even if the animal was able to be rehabed, who would have paid for it? All our national and state parks are hurting for money. It makes no sense to spend thousands on an animal that is not endangered, and could possibly spread disease to other animals. You whiners would be the first ones to complain of any park fee rate hikes due to your lack of understanding. They euthanized it before they destroyed the carcasses, so no cruelty occurred. Blowing it up is simply the most cost effective way of disposing of the dead animals. If it were not for the disease issue, it should have been left for the wolves… ya know, like in real nature. Ever seen a baby animal chomped on by wolves? Probably not if you are crying your hearts out about this.

  • Adam Stanley

    Sucks, but sounds like they did the right thing to keep it from suffering and possibly endangering other animals.