Our readers speak - 'If you care,' you may not be able to leave it there

6 March 2014

To the Editor,

Yes, we have a young moose in our community. Yes, we are all feeding him. Yes, most of us have spent our lives in this area. Yes, we have all been taught not to touch eggs in a nest and leave wild animals alone and blah, blah, blah, etc., etc. We don't need a biologist or newscasters to enlighten us. The local TV station should have vetted their story a little better. There are always two sides to every story.


MAX TERRITORY - Max the young orphaned moose explores the woods surrounding the Desjardins Logging, Inc. garage in Soldier Pond. Max has been there three weeks and the Desjardins family is currently caring for him until wildlife officials decide when to relocate him to a refuge. - Photo by Anne Ward

So, why did we adopt Max?

Several weeks ago, Max showed up in the neighborhood. He roamed around yards trying to get food from apple trees, grape vines, decorative shrubs and garbage cans in our yards. At first we thought he was sick. As wise citizens, we began to call local wildlife officials to check on the situation. We were told he was not sick after a "drive-by" observation.

Max continued to roam the neighborhood, crisscrossing the road in a blind zone with a knoll. Many people travel this road to work and school and the near misses and swerves were adding up. After numerous pleas and the only response from our local wildlife official was, "They should shoot that @#$% thing."

We decided we had to do something for the safety of our children, citizens and Max.

We then decided to put food on one side of the road where he would also have access to the woods and nearby trails. He now stays out of the path of traffic, but has slowly became accustomed to his caregivers.

He also has an open wound on his neck (above his right shoulder), that, apparently, had not been noted in the 'drive-by' observation. People began to bring salves and ointments to help heal it. Straw was also put down to give him some warmth to lie on since he had no mother or other herd to stay warm with. And, due to the extreme cold, we also put blankets on him at night.

Did we do the right thing by Max?

Well, we knew one thing for sure, as the attention to the problem grew, someone would have to act (soon). We have been told he will be taken to a refuge in Gray, Maine. You can bet we will be following up to make sure that's where Max goes.

Would we country bumpkins do it again? Under those same circumstances, yes! So the moral of this story is 'if you care,' you may not be able to leave it there!

Elaine Desjardins
Soldier Pond



You are so right, Elaine. You guys did exactly what any good caring person would have done. I would have done the same thing. Max was not abused, or harrassed, but rather fed, and taken care of.


Sometimes compassion isn't really compassionate. Now this animal trusts humans, which is not a good thing, because humans aren't always trustworthy.


Much of the time it is people in higher paid positions with titles that are not trustworthy...the small humble person that helps others in their time of need are the most compassionate....Don, I think I hear a little satire in your comment!

You did well

What a grand story talking about what compassion is...your children and many people will have learned a lesson in this situation....what are the "Higher Ups" waiting for before doing something? Waiting for a bad accident with deaths to occur? Or waiting for it to get warmer outside so they can get out of their warm heated trucks paid for by our tax dollars to do well for this creature from God? You did mighty fine, Soldier Pond residents!


Have you noticed that Moose like the cold? That is why there aren't many in southern Maine. Your compassion is misplaced. Moose are not human. They know how to survive. Let them be wild. If theyn are getting in your garbage, secure your garbage. It is easy food, but not good for them.

Moose II

Actually, moose have been and are moving further south than Maine, and it has nothing to do with the cold, but resources.

"[The Eastern Moose] ranges throughout most of Eastern Canada and most of the New England states and northern New York...The population of the Eastern Moose is rapidly increasing due to the fact that its habitat is vastly undeveloped. Many observations have reported the average direction of the Moose population expansion is heading south." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Moose

That said, your points on moose being wild animals and not human are spot on. Moose thrive on, and are best left untamed and in the wild.


Awesome job Desjardins family! Wish there were more kind and caring people like you. It's sad to think what this world it coming to but you shed a little ray of light on everyone keeping up with the story of Max. Keep up the good work and maybe by some miracle of God....Max can have a permanent address in Soldier Pond.