Day 2 started with a surprise. (Oh and yes, it’s my fourth update from the road and I’m still on the second day. I assure you this won’t be my regular pace - there are just more topics to talk about in the beginning.)
Right. So day 2 started with a surprise:
A baby moose appeared on the road. I stopped and it didn’t seem scared, so I reached for my camera. Then I realized the inherent risk in the situation and did a panicked look around for the mother, which might trample me to death for getting too close to the calf. Eventually I spotted the mother behind it in the forest and understood what was happening.
You see, the whole road was lined by a fence. In South Finland the purpose of it would’ve been keeping moose off the road to avoid accidents. But in the north it’s almost always a reindeer fence, designed to keep reindeer on their owner’s land. Somehow the baby moose had been separated from its mother by the fence. And now here it was in front of me mewling sadly - probably trying to explain the situation. So what to do?
After I wisely gave up on the idea of simply picking it up and throwing it over the fence, I was stumped. Eventually I decided to just keep going and let nature take its course. However, less than 100 meters away I saw what looked like a very conveniently calf-sized gap in the fence. The youngling was heading in the wrong direction, with the kind of shaky walk that suggested it hadn’t yet read the user manual on hooves. The concerned parent kept an eye on both of us from a distance.
So I turned back, cycled past the calf, stopped again and shoo’d it (in what I was hoping was a gentle and reassuring way) along the fence towards the gap. The mother ran ahead to greet it. While I parked the bike to pick up my camera again, both disappeared from sight. I can only assume this meant the operation was a success.
After typing all of this from my campsite (which you can see in the banner image if you click the title of the post) many hours later, I went for an evening walk with the camera. And what do I find? Another baby moose! I doubt it was the same one, on account of the distance, and the complete lack of non-stop forlorn bleating. This one also seemed to be completely unaccompanied, with no sign of responsible adults anywhere. After I wisely gave up on the idea of bringing it to my tent, I had to leave that one to fend for itself.
I had no idea moose can be such neglectful parents.