When Erikas Plucas came home one day, he came across something odd indeed. A tiny baby moose was stranded right outside his gate. She was barely over 2 weeks old.
It was a sad sight to behold indeed. He noted that she was starving, dirty and depressed. Flies were hovering all over her, and she was so scared of Plucas initially that she tried to run away, but she couldn’t even do that because she was so weak.
Plucas thought that the moose’s mother had been killed by hunters. He knew he had to help the baby moose if she were to have any chance of survival, so he carried her off to see how he could help her.
He contacted animal services, then some friends to ask for help. But he got quite a negative response—they all told him to leave the baby moose alone.
“I was met with hostility and contempt,” Plucas reported. “‘It is illegal, you should not do it, let nature take care of it’ was all I heard.”
But his inner voice refused to let her go just like that. He knew she needed help.
As he waited for the animal services to arrive, he gathered every type of leaf he could get and got her some milk as well. He urged her to eat up, as he knew that if she didn’t, she would most likely pass away.
Animal services did arrive the next day, but there wasn’t much they could do for her. Lithuania has no special institutions dedicated for the care of orphan animals. They called local hunters to take her. Plucas knew she would certain death if he let her go, so he offered to keep her himself.
She was named Emma, and they formed a wonderful bond together.
It was quite challenging for Plucas to care for Emma for the first few weeks. He needed to feed her hourly, and she would even cry if he tried to leave her. So he had to sleep next to her so she could feel secure. She was scared of everything but Plucas.
As Emma grew up, he started taking her for walks in the forest. He hoped she would become acquainted to the wild this way. He even tried to teach her to differentiate between dangerous situations. He also tried to teach her how to find food so she would be able to care for herself on her own. Emma was scared of the forest at first, but she followed Plucas’s lead and went in anyway.
As she grew older, Emma became more and more comfortable with going in the forest. Soon after, she was ready to call the forest her home.
While Plucas’s goal was to make her independent enough to be by herself in the forest, he did spend some sleepless nights thinking about her.
Emma has grown up well and is living in the wild now. But she always makes it a point to visit Plucas every single day. They even go swimming together! She always lets him know how happy she is for being rescued.
Surprisingly, Emma isn’t really friendly with other humans. The only exception is her dad. This must be her way of showing her love for him.
“To me she is gentle and loving,” said Plucas. “She is very careful when we are playing, so she would not hurt me.”
Like any loving dad, Plucas is always worried about Emma’s safety. He worries about hunters shooting her in the wild. So he even had a talk with all the hunters and told them to not hurt her.
Plucas tried telling them that moose aren’t just for steak—that they are intelligent, sensitive animals. After his talk, they were so moved that some agreed to stop hunting forever, while others vowed not to shoot a moose again.
Emma is now doing well in her wild home, and thanks to her dad, she might live a long and happy life. She will always come to visit him, and her visits might be more frequent, as Plucas is guessing she’s expecting a baby soon.
In the end, Plucas and Emma are now family. They are each other’s world, and they wouldn’t want it any other way!
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