This story goes to show that sometimes doing what seems to be the right thing can still end up going wrong.
What would you have done? It’s difficult to put yourself in the shoes of this Canadian man, considering most of us aren’t put in this kind of situation all that often.
We’ve seen people getting in trouble for interacting with wildlife and disrupting “natural selection,” but Canadian Mark Skage was put in a pretty tough spot, and being stuck between a rock and a hard place ended up costing his job.
As he was driving back from work in British Columbia, he saw an infant moose by its lonesome standing near the side of the road. And when he slowed down to check it out, he also spotted a black bear lurking nearby waiting to pounce on the abandoned moose.
Skage said in his Facebook post:
“Well I’ve been asked a lot and kinda held off, but I figure I might as well answer everyone at once. I little bit ago here I was on my way back to town while working.
I encountered a few day old baby cow calf moose alone on the highway and there was a black bear 50 yards away from her just waiting.”
Skage got out his vehicle to check things out, and he didn’t really have much of a choice since the moose quickly tried to jump into his truck with him.
Clearly the moose was seeking refuge from the bear, and what was Skage supposed to do about it?
The Canadian continued in his post:
“I made a decision at the time after she kept tryin to climb into the work truck that I couldn’t just leave her there. So I stuck her in the passenger side and drove to town to get her some help.
I communicated with my supervisor as well as the Conservation Officer service before luckily finding a spot for her to stay for a few day (thanks again to the person with the big heart, you know who you are).”
He also posted the video of the initial encounter:
And the pictures of the moose riding shotgun are absolutely phenomenal. You cannot tell me that this moose has never been in a vehicle before, because it looked like it was comfortable as ever and enjoying the amenities the truck had to offer.
The adventures of Mark and “Misty,” the name that ended up giving the moose (great use of alliteration by Mark with “Misty the Moose), seemed to have a happy ending. Especially after an update that he got from a rehab center that had taken the moose in:
“A few days later Misty (that’s what I called her) got a ride to a rehab center a little farther south where they will let her grow up a bit before releasing her back into the wild.”
Mark also managed to snap a selfie with the animal by his open driver side door:
So there’s a feel good story, right? Well, not exactly…
As you probably already know, transporting and possessing wildlife is against the law. Mark knew that, but said he couldn’t help himself from helping out the moose in distress. Skage’s workplace, AFD Petroleum Inc., decided that the rescue of the baby moose went against their policies, and felt that Mark should have allowed for a properly trained official to handle the relocation.
Skage elaborated in his Facebook post, stating:
“All is well right? NOPE. AFD felt different and figured I was in grievous conflict with their wildlife policies (they had never taken the time to know my background). Anyway to wrap up, they did decide given all their options that letting me go was the best thing.
So the lesson I learned was AFD is okay (with) spilling fuel on the ground, but not helping wildlife.”
Some parting shots by Mark there on Facebook, which is the number one spot for disgruntled employees to voice their feelings and concerns about being fired.
AFD Petroleum released a statement saying that Mark’s transportation of the moose in his company vehicle put himself, other drivers, and the moose at risk. Though it is the law to not help out the wildlife, seems like Skage would have otherwise been leaving the baby moose to die by a bear attack. Maybe there should be some sort of clause in the law if an infant animal is in immediate danger?
Tough scene all around, and hopefully Mark can land back on his feet, maybe even working and helping with wildlife conservation…