Monday, 6 March 2006

Ode to a Moose

Among the more laudable achievements of Laurens van der Post, the much admired writer, farmer, war hero, conservationist, liar, fraud, paedophile and alleged guru to Margaret Thatcher and Prince Charles, was the creation in 1974 of the excellent Wilderness Foundation.
The foundation is currently proposing the replacement of 800,000 hectares of traditional farmland in the UK with reserves, possibly inhabited by vanished species such as moose, beaver, wild horse…..
This sounds like a jolly idea, though we shall need to accept that these reserves may not be places where we shall go for relaxing days out in the country. I mean, we are used to wasps getting in the jam, but having a grumpy Alces Alces turn up and start walking all over the sandwiches will be enough to ruin any picnic. They stand six feet tall, can weigh three-quarters of a ton and have antlers up to five feet across: sleekit, possibly, but neither wee nor cowrin’, and not in the least tim’rous, especially during rut. Also, it looks as if they tend to dribble a bit.

2 comments:

Corey V. said...

It may seem silly, Tony, but there is a lot of joy to be had in seeing a live moose. They're oafish, but at the same time they exhibit a grace that is unparalleled in animals that also happen to be very large and incredibly messy while drinking water.

Take it from me -- my time in Wyoming and Idaho has brought me face to face (or face to windshield) with a couple of mooses...er...meece...er... whatever.

Tony said...

Yes, Corey, I'm sure they're real cuties when you get to know them. It's just that it'll be a bit of a shock to encounter a herd of them in an English meadow and we need to get used to the idea.
And the same goes for the other animals they're thinking of re-introducing: lynx, wolves, wild horses......