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Alberta Wildlife rescue centre in need of branches to feed two moose calves

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation is looking for fresh branches to feed two moose calves at the facility. 

“Our staff and volunteers have actually been driving around for an hour every day and getting branches off the side of the road just to keep these guys fed,” Katrina Jansen, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator with the AIWC, said.

“So it’s better if our staff and volunteers can spend their time actually helping the animals here rather than going on runs.”

RELATED: Spare berries? The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society wants them

According to Jansen, each calve eats about one van load of branches a day. Not just any branches either. The branches must be freshly cut because the nutrients and sugars in them are needed for the calves’ diets.

“So nothing that’s been lining up your yard for a couple of weeks.”

Two Moose Calves, One Rescue Centre

Both of the calves were brought to the Alberta Wildlife Institute this summer. 

One of them had fallen into a ditch and got tangled in a pile of pallets. Unable to get out, the AIWC believes the mother and siblings left the area and didn’t come back. That’s when the team was called into rescue the calf.

Moose especially love willow, poplar, aspen and saskatoon branches with fresh leaves on them. AIWC/FB.

The second calf came to the facility in early August from Grand Prairie. When the rescue team arrived, they found its mother dead on the side of the road. Then they took in the calf.

“She needed looking after as she was still quite young – even though she was about a four and a half feet tall when she first came in. So we’re very happy that we got the second calf because it’s really helped our previous new calf in giving her someone to bond with that’s not a human.”

The Institute adds the two calves could be released back into the wild as early as October.

For now though, Jansen said it’s making sure the calves are getting the nutrients they need.

“The food that they eat most in the wild is browse. So it’s the bark of the younger trees. Thinner branches are their favorite because it’s got lots of sugars in it. And then also the the new leaves that are on those branches as well. So we’re really looking for freshly cut branches.”

Moose especially love willow, poplar, aspen and Saskatoon branches with fresh leaves on them. 

People can drop off donations at the Institute anytime. As long as you give them a heads up over the phone or via email.