Last March, a very unusual moose was spotted near Falher. Please click here to see a picture and the story of the piebald moose.
Sadly, the website reports that the young bull was dead within a month of the picture being taken, probably shot by poachers.
Our region is famous for great hunting. We do need to keep the moose population down, and the sport brings business to our communities. Respectful, responsible hunting, legal hunting, is a good thing.
But if an animal so remarkable, so phenomenal as this singular piebald moose should come along, shouldn’t we try to protect it? Not from wolves or cougars or ticks or cold – that could not be done without a move to a zoo – but just from its most likely predator, us. Can we make special provisions to make rare wild animals off limits to hunters? Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1997 prohibits the hunting of moose that are over 50% white coloured in a region where white moose were seen. It is part of the stewardship expected of all who visit Canada’s wilderness areas.
Piebald moose, along with white-coloured, snow or ghost moose, are not albino, but they do have a very uncommon set of genes to result in their snowy colour. They are so rarely sighted that they seem mythical, like unicorns or sasquatch. Only they’re real. People look at them, or pictures of them, with wonder, curiosity, or disbelief, but never dismiss them as ho hum. Several years ago, these pictures of a white moose near Fort St. John fascinated people across the world. Similarly, the piebald moose’s photo has travelled the globe.
Imagine a fully mature piebald moose with a full set of antlers.
We’ll never see the Falher moose this way, but at least we know the possibility remains. Somewhere out there, more piebald and white-coloured moose are roaming the forests.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment and peruse the archives 🙂