IRASBURG, VT – Although he’s probably unaware, a moose has been given a second chance!
All Pete the Moose really cares about is where his next meal of apples, bananas and candy bars is going to come from. You would never be able to tell that he was close to reaching the end of his life.
This special moose was ordered to be removed from a game preserve or destroyed last summer. He will now be allowed to stay on the land near the U.S.-Canada border under a compromise fashioned by state lawmakers.
The change of heart came after the 700-pound moose’s tale of woe went viral, producing a “Save Pete the Moose” website, a Facebook page that had 3,500 people “like it” as of Friday, and about 10,000 YouTube views.
“It’s the best I could’ve hoped for,” said David Lawrence, 74, who nursed Pete to health and tends to him at the Big Rack Ridge preserve. “They wanted to kill Peter.”
Last summer, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife said Pete and other native deer and moose living in the compound shouldn’t be mixing with the farm-raised elk because of fears that tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease could be spread, though neither had been found.
The state said either the preserve would have to close or Pete and the other animals would have to be put down. The issue wasn’t focused on the moose, but on the fact that the preserve mixes imported elk with native moose and deer.
“He just does his thing every day. If someone shot him and shot him good, he wouldn’t have cared because he wouldn’t have known,” said Lawrence.