Margo Lukens of Orono enjoyed an afternoon of cross-country skiing Sunday on the trails at the Caribou Bog Conservation Area.
She and her dog Reese took advantage of the conditions enhanced by Saturday’s snowstorm and after the contingent from the Great Caribou Bog Ski Race had completed its classic race.
On the way home, driving along Taylor Road, Lukens came upon a line of cars stopped on both sides.
“I could see that there was a police car, pulled over facing our traffic, on the other side and I thought, ‘well, something’s going on,’” said Lukens, an English professor at the University of Maine.
Looking ahead, through the windows of the car in front of her, Lukens saw it — a calf moose. When that vehicle moved along, it put her directly in the moose’s path.
“It came up close and began nibbling on the snow on my hood,” she said of the behavior shown in the video that she was kind enough to share with us.
The male moose, its forehead covered by a dusting of snow, paused after licking the snow. It appeared to look at Lukens through the driver’s side window before continuing its walk.
“I didn’t feel at all threatened by this moose. He was obviously a yearling or something,” Lukens said. “I was a little bit concerned that it was being so unguarded.”
Lukens has encountered moose before, but had never seen one that close. She was surprised that Reese, in the back seat, didn’t have any reaction to the furry creature walking alongside the car.
“It was a really nice moment,” Lukens said, “and my dog, who’s usually quite vigilant, I think she was too tired to pay attention.”
The moose resembles a calf that was caught on video last month in the Bangor City Forest, but it is not known whether the most recent sighting is the same animal.
Shortly after Lukens’ encounter, a police officer and another person walked down the road, following behind the moose.
“I watched in the rearview and it appeared that they were able to encourage it to leave the road and go back in the woods,” Lukens said.
Visitors to the Bangor City Forest and the Caribou Bog Conservation Area Trails who might encounter the calf are reminded by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that it’s best to leave wild animals alone and keep your distance. Moose, which are stressed by the winter weather conditions, usually are not comfortable in the presence of humans.
Many thanks to Margo for providing the video!
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