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Schoolkids save moose calves near Verkh-Neyvinsk

August 21, 2013, 16:00 UTC+3

Animals, likely abandoned by poachers, found malnourished and nurtured back to health

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YEKATERINBURG, August 21. (Itar-Tass) – Two moose calves are now staying at a Verkh-Neyvinsk equestrian center “Capriole,” who were rescued by schoolchildren studying at the compound. Without their intervention, the calves would have surely died. Employee of the equestrian center, Maria Kallistova, reported that the critters were left in front of the stables by unknown parties.

She believes that it were poachers. “It’s not easy to separate calves from a mother moose. Most likely she was killed. They couldn’t slaughter its calves and most likely they tried taking care of the calves on their own. Soon they realized they were failing so they dumped the calves on our doorstep,” Maria said.

She told her story with a tremble in her voice: “We drove out to stables with schoolchildren to feed the horses. As we arrive, we notice that there’s a large cardboard box in front of the building. I was scared – first I thought it was a bomb. I started warding children away from the box, but then I heard strange bleating coming from within,” she recalls. “We cracked the box open a bit and saw two weird-looking animals, with large ears and saucer eyes. The critters were malnourished and weakened. Back when we first saw them, these little fellows didn’t look like moose calves. Kids really wanted to keep them at the stables.”

The first order of business was calling veterinarians. They inspected the animals and determined that, they were in fact moose calves, only 10 days old. Vets warned children that taking care of such young animals is too complicated and were ready to take the unfortunate critters to provide professional foster care.

Kallistova noted that “Kids promised they would manage to nurture critters back to health. In order to keep their promise they had to go through intensive vet training for beginners. For example, these calves can drink only goat milk. Each of them drank five liters per day. There wasn’t enough goat milk in the local area, so vets advised to give them regular cow milk with supplements. Animals quickly took a turn for the better and soon started to resemble actual moose,” she concluded.

Each of the little fellows already exhibits own behavior, according to which they were named – Rocky and Einstein. Maria explained: “Einstein is a strategist. He calculates each step. For example, if he can’t jump over an obstacle, he examines the area to try and circumvent it. Rocky, on the other hand, is a real fighter. He just rushes right through.”

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