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Alaskan Clydesdale Moose Logging -- Really?

Picture 9 Several times in recent months I have received an e-mail with this photo and the following story.

Only in Alaska! This guy raised an abandoned moose calf with his horses, and believe it or not, he has trained it for lumber removal and other hauling tasks. Given the 2,000 pounds of robust muscle, and the splayed, grippy hooves, he claims it is the best work animal he has. He says the secret to keeping the moose around is a sweet salt lick, although during the rut he disappears for a couple of weeks, but always comes home. Impressive!! Bound to be someone out there that will raise some issues with this treatment of a wild animal. To them I say. "If the Moose keeps coming back, what's the problem?"

This story is but one version of several that have made the e-mail rounds in recent months. The Urban Legends section of About.com: Work Moose in Harness (Moose Logging) does a thorough job of debunking these stories. The photo, the basis of the tale, is a composite of different images. This is revealed by examining features like the Chevaux d'Abitibi patch on the man's jacket, the harness strap that leads nowhere, and the mirror-image woodpiles. You can read more about the details and alternate stories in the post.

A quick online search shows that this story is currently circulating around websites and blogs, too. That puzzles me since it is so easy to check and find that it is a bogus story. Maybe everyone is as fascinated as I am by moose -- I was thrilled to glimpse one in the wild one time and Moose Tracks is my favorite ice cream flavor.
Related post: Twin Baby Moose Play in Water Sprinkler
More about moose, authoritative text and 80 stunning photographs: Moose: Giants of the Northern Forest


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