Photo courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife
DENVER – After receiving sighting reports of the moose calf orphaned in Wednesday’s attack near Nederland, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers were able to capture the calf at the site near the West Magnolia Trailhead Wednesday evening.
The female calf, likely less than three days old, will be kept and cared for by Colorado Parks and Wildlife veterinary staff. Its probability for survival is unknown at this point given we do not know how much early colostrum she would have received from her mother, which provides the much-needed nutrients and antibodies vital to its survival.
While our wildlife health staff cannot take every orphaned animal, it was determined when evaluating the circumstances of this situation that our wildlife health staff would take in this animal to use her growth and development for CPW’s educational purposes.
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.
For details on the events surrounding the attack, please see the press releaseissued by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday.