It is rare for a Moose to wander into hundreds of miles away from its Northwood habitat, into Minnesota. But one such animal had parted ways from its natural habitat and pack, some time ago and was choosing to stay in Sleepy Eye. Unfortunately it was found dead on Thursday.
The animal which had been staying in the backyard of a home in Sleepy Eye, was found dead there by Leonard Wendinger. He explained what he found on Thursday morning, “He was just laying flat down…just completely flat.”
The animal, who initially kept its distant from humans, stood seven feet tall and was healthy. It usually ate apples from the yards.
Wendinger added, “Yeah, he cleaned it up. High on the branches and everything. They were down [the branches]. It was so heavy from apples that bent way down. Until last night, that one trip, it never got closer than that apple tree.”
The DNR sent out a crew to retrieve the animal’s body and said that it doesn’t appear that it was hit by a car or shot.
The animal’s tracks that were left in the snow provided an insight into its movement and behavior. The moose came back last Tuesday after leaving the property for few days. The Wendinger family added that on Wednesday it even tried to come closer to their house.
“It never came up that close to the house. He could have come up on the porch. Like one of our daughter’s says, pretty soon it will be up on the porch like a dog, sleeping,” Verna, Leonard’s wife said.
The family had grown attached to the animal and say that they will miss him now. “Oh yes, I think we will miss him. It was short lived but that was about the first thing we did every morning, watching the moose.” Verna added.
The DNR which took the moose’s body to the U of M’s veterinary laboratory said that it will conduct a necropsy to determine the cause of the death. It will take a few weeks to get the results.