Animal Stories: Molly


molly intake

"Molly" at intake

It never fails to amaze us here at Solitudes how life can change with a simple phone call. In the Fall of 2009, the Ministry of Natural Resources presented Solitudes with a very sick little moose calf that was removed from another wildlife centre experiencing much turmoil. “Molly” was very malnourished.  Because of her poor start in life, “Molly” was stunted in size and required around the clock care under veterinary supervision. In addition, a fecal examination revealed parasitic and bacterial infections. To treat the malnutrition, “Molly” was placed back onto a suitable milk replacer, fed four times a day. A higher protein calf pellet (calf manna) and mazuri moose pellets were offered in addition to the ample natural browse. Medications to treat the bacterial and parasitic infections were given as per Dr. Cathy Emms of Ivy Veterinary Services near Barrie. It was a slow, uphill battle but we are pleased to report that “Molly” grew and became healthier each day!

molly one month later

"Molly" one year later!

Although her health steadily improved over the year, her tameness remained, deeming her unreleasable. Moose calves, as all wildlife in rehabilitation, must have very little contact with humans, especially when young. Unfortunately, “Molly” had been habituated to humans in her first three months of life due to excessive exposure. 

Solitudes negotiated with the MNR to incorporate “Molly” into our moose rehabilitation program. Wildlife are far less stressed when there are members of their own species within sight and smell. In addition, young wildlife are more liekly to habituate to their own kind using this logic. We have enjoyed increased success rates using this method with other wildlife in our care, as have other rehabilitation centres in Canada and the United States. 

molly winter splendour

"Molly" in her winter wonderland!

Solitudes has plans to enlarge the current moose enclosure and partition off an additional enclosure for moose calves. This arrangement would allow calves to see and smell “Molly” without fear of injury.  We would like to enlarge both enclosures substantially and will be fundraising to this end.  © Chris Kerrigan 2012