A less than three-day-old moose calf is under the care of Colorado Parks & Wildlife veterinarians after the calf’s mother was killed during an attack on June 8th. A Boulder County Sheriff’s Office deputy killed the cow while searching for the two people and dog injured in the attack. When first encountering the moose, the deputy fired bean bag shots, successfully scaring the animal away. While the deputy was with the injured parties, the cow returned a second time, fleeing once again after warning shots were fired.

The cow’s third return prompted the deputy to shoot and kill the moose as medics were assisting the injured parties. While it’s unfortunate that the moose had to be killed, it was more or less necessary. The female calf’s chance of survival are currently unknown, as it’s young age means it requires specific nutrients and anti-bodies from its mother.

“Moose calves are born in a 3-4 week period from the end of May to mid-June. They weigh between 28-35 pounds at birth and within the first hour of life, begin nursing. They start to take solid food a few days after birth. During their first five months, while suckling and foraging, calves will gain about two pounds of weight per day and by October can reach weights of 385-400 pounds and will be upwards of 700 pounds by age two. Calves are generally weaned in the fall at the time the mother is breeding again. An adult cow moose will weigh around 800 or 900 pounds.” Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Image Credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife