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Contact: Lynn McAloon, (907) 683-6381
Two orphaned moose calves, left without their mother as a result of an illegal shooting near the Denali Post office in early June, have been safely captured this afternoon and will be relocated to the Alaska Wilderness Conservation Center near Girdwood, Alaska.
The calves had been regularly monitored since they were orphaned. They had been observed with other moose and were feeding in the area. While smaller than other calves born in the park this May, they were considered healthy and active.
Early consultation with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game had determined that allowing the calves to remain in the area and not intervene in natural processes was the best course of action.
The situation changed when interactions between the calves and people in the entrance area became more frequent. Park staff had received reports of visitors being close enough to the calves to feed them. Motorists were observed walking in highway travel lanes, crossing the road in front of fast-moving traffic, parking erratically in unsafe locations, and leaving vehicle doors open in order to view or photograph moose calves feeding. The calves had also been observed crossing the Parks Highway, sometimes multiple times a day, causing extremely unsafe driving conditions.
Park management and wildlife staff responded to this change and made the decision this week to capture and relocate the calves.
Superintendent Don Striker said, “This was another fine example of the strong partnership we enjoy with the State of Alaska and our many neighbors. I’m pleased to add the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to our growing list of partners in conservation.”