Erikas Plucas was a farmer from Lithuania. Considering his farm is located next to a forest, he was often used to wild animals and beings of nature venturing on to his land. However, when Erikas found himself being relied on by a baby moose that had lost it’s way, he began to gain a whole new outlook on life, and he also gained a new best friend.
One day, Erikas Plucas returned home to find, laying in front of his gate, was a baby moose. Looking around for the Moose’s mother, Erikas realized the baby was all alone. Going closer to the moose, he realized it was no older than two weeks. In that moment, Erikas realized what had happened.
After putting it all together, Erikas realized that the hunters had most likely killed that baby’s mother, and in looking for safety, the moose wandered onto his property. The moose look emaciated and had flied surrounding it’s body. Erikas knew that if he didn’t do something to help her she would most likely die.
Help is Coming
Although the moose was absolutely terrified of Erikas, the baby was too weak to stand and to run away. Erikas picked her up as carefully as possible and brought her inside the house. When he called Animal Services, they said they would not be able to assist him until the following day. While waiting, Erikas called some friends for advice who were surprisingly unsupportive of his good deed.
Erikas friends continuously told him that he should not have brought the animal into his home, and that he should of “let nature take care of it”. Erikas instead, did just the opposite. He grabbed some milk, and collected different leaves to see if the baby would eat. Erikas then continued to wait for Animal Services, who like his friends, wouldn’t be much help either.
Erikas had this to say of his meeting with Animal Services, “Since here in Lithuania, we do not have a special institution who would take care of wild orphan animals, they called local hunters and asked if they could take her.” Knowing that the hunters would eventually just kill the moose, he asked Animal Services if it would be alright if he kept her. Surprisingly enough, they said yes.
A Loyal Friend
Erikas decided to call the moose Emma, and he looks back fondly on the first few weeks because they were so challenging. The moose needed to eat every four hours and so he couldn’t leave her alone for extended periods of time. When Erikas would go into the house, Emma would often cry. So, Erikas began sleeping next her her, in the barn or out in the open, so she would feel safer.
Emma was growing at a fast pace, but she was no longer afraid of Erikas. However, when she reached adulthood, it was time for her to be reintroduced to her home, the forest. Although Emma didn’t want to go at first, she followed Erikas wherever he went, and so through this he was able to show her what was safe and what was dangerous, and assisted her in looking for food. Eventually, Emma began making progress.
On Her Own
The more Emma went with Erikas into the forest, the more comfortable she became with it. It wasn’t long before she was going into the forest alone and although Erikas felt like a parent sending their child into the world, he knew that living in the forest was the most ideal place for Emma to be. He recalls, “I remember those first nights that she didn’t come home. Oh I barely slept.”
Time To Fly
Now that Emma is a full grown moose, she permanently lives in the forest. However, she has not forgotten about Erikas, and it is likely she never will. Every day, she heads to the farm to spend a few hours with the man who saved her life. Sometimes they swim together, or sometimes he greets Emma with treats. Regardless, you can still see the special bond between the two.
Best Friends Forever
Besides Erikas, Emma doesn’t really care for other humans. “To me, she is gentle and loving. She is very careful when we are playing, so she would not hurt me” says Erikas of his moose friend. However, now that Emma was a full-grown moose, he was fully aware of the dangers that lurked in the forest that were out of his control.
Erikas understood that it would be so easy to lose Emma to one of the hunters roaming through the woods. Erikas was conflicted because he knew that Emma needed to be a free moose, but he also couldn’t stand the thought of her being killed. He didn’t want to keep her on the farm, so instead, he took matters into his own hands.
Erikas decided to try the simple route, and talk to the hunters to get them on his side. He said, “I had some hunters over for them to see her as not just a nice warm steak with potatoes and vegetables on the table, but as a very intelligent and loving animal.” Although he had faith in his plan, he was still surprised when it worked!
Change Of Heart
After seeing the heartwarming relationship Erikas and Emma had, the hunters agreed not to hunt her. Some of the hunters were so touched by the relationship that they claimed they wouldn’t shoot moose at all anymore. Many even went as far to say they would never hunt ever again! Erikas was more than happy to hear the news, considering that one day Emma would have her own family with the potential to be hunted.