A man has shared a video of himself demonstrating exactly why you should never approach a baby moose – no matter how sweet they look.
The clip, which you can watch below, was recorded at an unspecified location in the US, where large mammals including elk and bison are currently calving. Although both animals are usually docile and prefer to avoid close encounters with humans, females (cows) can become very aggressive if they believe their young are threatened, and have been known to seriously injure people who get too close.
This particular incident involved two newborn moose, which the man, Daniel Bigras, spotted crossing the road ahead of him while driving. Initially he stayed in his truckand gave them plenty of space, commenting that he'd never seen such tiny calves before, but at the end the clip cuts to him standing right beside the spindly-legged little animals.
"Your mama's pissed," Bigras observes. "OK boys, time to go."
It's extremely important never to approach a baby wild animal, even if it appears to be alone. Earlier this week, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) issued a statement telling members of the public never to touch newborns, or try to take them home to 'care for' them.
"[T]hat often has fatal consequences for the animal and can also create public safety risks as the animal matures," says the department. "It is illegal to keep wildlife in captivity and can result in a class A misdemeanor. If you believe that a baby animal is injured or sick, report it to the nearest DWR Office."
Handling wild animals can have tragic consequences. The National Park Service (NPS) is currently searching for a man who tried to help a bison calf at Yellowstone National Park by pushing it up from a riverbank to a road. The calf began approaching people and cars, and when attempts to reunite it with its herd failed, Park Rangers took the difficult decision to euthanize it.
The NPS warns visitors to always stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from bison and elk, and ideally watch them from the safety of a vehicle. For more advice, see our guides what to do if you see a moose and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.
- Best binoculars: enjoy watching wildlife from a safe distance
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.