Shannon Lugdon and her family are used to seeing wild animals around her home.
Lugdon is the owner and operator of Lugdon Lodge, a sleepaway camp in rural Maine. There are always plenty of animals around here, including moose.
But in June 2018, Lugdon had her most surprising encounter with a wild animal yet. Early one Saturday morning, Lugdon heard a young moose crying out for help. She rushed over to the area and saw a baby moose sitting all on her own.
Lugdon quickly called two local wardens and asked them what to do. They said they should leave the moose alone for 24 hours.
“Wild animals often leave their babies to eat, drink and rest,” Lugdon wrote on Facebook. “’Abandoned’ moose are rarely actually abandoned.”
The baby moose spent the day wandering around the brook where her mom left her. At one point, she wandered dangerously close to the road, but thankfully she stopped and went back into the woods. Lugdon watched, ready to intervene if she had to.
On Sunday morning, Lugdon went out with her German Shepherd, Leo. The baby moose was still there. And then, to Lugdon’s surprise, Leo ran over to the moose and started playing with her.
Since the baby moose’s mom hadn’t come back for her, Lugdon started caring for her. She named the moose Miss Maggie and gave her a grass, clover, and water ‘milkshake.’ Then, she talked to a vet, who said she should give the moose a bottle filled Lactaid milk. Miss Maggie loved it!
Lugdon, her family, Leo, and some of the campers took turns visiting with Miss Maggie. The moose was sweet as could be, and she loved spending time with everyone, especially Leo.
The wardens came back later that afternoon to check on Miss Maggie. When they learned her mother hadn’t come back, they decided to call Amanda DeMusz, a biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. DeMusz has worked with many abandoned animals, and so the wardens knew she was perfect for Miss Maggie.
The baby moose said goodbye to her best buddy Leo, and the wardens took her over to Maine Wildlife Park. The moose quickly made herself at home.
An abandoned baby moose has found a new home in Gray.
Posted by WGME CBS 13 News, Portland on Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Miss Maggie will remain at the wildlife park until she grows up. Then, the biologists will determine if she can be released back to the wild. Lugdon is planning to visit Miss Maggie soon—and hopefully, she’ll bring Leo too!
We may never know why Miss Maggie’s mother abandoned her. But thankfully, the little moose found a group of wonderful people—and one dog—who helped her out!
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h/t: Honest to Paws