During military exercises in the forests of Estonia, one soldier was called upon to aid a furry fellow citizen in the midst of a real life-and-death situation.
Erich Jyri Prikko is a conscription member of the Estonian defense force, and was recently stationed with a unit near the shores of Lake Võrtsjärv. It was there, last week, that Prikko decided to venture into the woods in search of, as he put it, an “alternative bathroom.” But then a different sort of call of nature gripped him, writes heaveanofanimals.com
He noticed something hiding under the branches of the tree in the forest. He thought it might be a cat or a dog. But as it turned out there was a hopeless moose left all alone.
The moose was rather tiny and he was left without his mother. The animal walked to the soldier to ask for help.
“I heard some funny voices that reminded me a cat or a small baby,” Prikko told The Dodo. “I noticed some kind of a cute animal walking towards me. At first he reminded me a dog, but pretty quickly I realized it was a small baby moose trying to tell me something.”
“He was quite shy at first, but he finally decided that I seemed to be trustworthy and came very close to me.”
The poor moose looked very desperate. The man sat leaning on the tree. They baby moose made friends with the man and didnot leave the man’s side. It was obvious the calf was looking for his mom. The baby moose just wanted someone to help him. He stayed near the man and found comfort near him.
Prikko was taken aback — but then the moose calf went one step further.
“He even tried to find something under my armpit,” Prikko said. “He might have thought that I have mammary glands.”
The soldier did not know how to help the baby moose. He took the moose to the vet and the vet advised to take the moose back to the forest. The man took a bottle of milk with him as he doubted that his mother would come.
The baby moose, it seemed, had quickly come to consider the soldier his mother.
Prikko could not fulfill the request, of course, but the hungry calf nevertheless seemed comforted by his gentle presence alone. It was then that Prikko decided to help in another way.
“I called our veterinary office and let them know what happened,” Prikko said. “I wanted to do more for the small calf and wanted to ask what should I do.”
Prikko was told to return the calf to where he was found, and to monitor the situation. Because of Prikko’s report, a vet was dispatched to the scene with a bottle of milk to feed the baby moose just in case his mother failed to return.
It was difficult to leave the calf there all alone — but the move paid off.
Prikko and his unit did their best to avoid disturbing the area, in case the calf’s mother would be spooked away. And, sure enough, after hearing a moose call in the night, Prikko awoke to find the baby was gone.
“We noticed very fresh big moose footprints that indicated that the small calf had been rescued by his mother,” Prikko said.
All, apparently, had been set right.
As a soldier, Prikko considers it his duty to protect animals, too — and in this case, he accomplished that mission perfectly.