It was not what Brent Olsen expected to see when he woke up at his home in Westford, Vermont, on Sunday morning - a bull moose with a hoof on his car. "I had run out in my shorts from the morning and I started hollering at it. 'Do not jump on my car Mr. Moose.,'" Olsen recalled.
After chasing it away from his vehicle, Olsen was intrigued by the up-close encounter with the moose. He grabbed his camcorder as it walked around his yard. "A moose with ivy in its horns. I thought it was kind of cute," he said. But the moose's behaviour quickly became anything but cute. "It scared the crap out of me," Olsen said. He ran for safety inside his home, leaving the camcorder outside. Apparently the moose wanted to go inside the home too.
"My roommate had gone in to his bedroom and had his .32 special rifle out and he said he was going to defend the house. He was going to shoot it if it was coming in the house," Olsen said. As Olsen and his roommate waited nearly an hour for the state game warden to arrive, He says the moose rammed the house four more times. "It was very nerve racking, hoping this thing was going to behave itself until the game wardens gets here," he said.
"I have never seen a moose act like that," said Vt. Fish & Wildlife Lt. Curtis Smiley. After observing it for a period of time, a state game warden killed the moose, saying it exhibited signs of brain worm. The parasite causes odd behaviour, like walking in tight circles. It can also make the animals off balance and cause their heads to tilt. Wardens say approaching wild animals is never a good idea. "We recommend people keep a safe distance from any wildlife no matter what size it is. All wildlife can be dangerous, whether it is big or small," Lt. Smiley said. "Very sad to see a beautiful healthy animal suffer from something like this," Olsen said.