Saturday, January 26, 2008

Road Kill

Earlier this week as I was driving home down East End Road I came across a moose that had just been hit by a car. It was lying in the middle of the road, still twitching. It was a young moose (probably born just this spring; I'd seen a moose calf in that area) but still too large to drag off the road, so someone tied a rope around one leg and made a noose out of the other end. A pickup was backed right up, the noose put over the hitch and they dragged the moose to the nearest side road.

In the past if someone hit a moose they could keep it, but too many people were hitting moose on purpose for the meat (imagine the meat being more valuable than damages to a car!). Now, as far as I have heard, you can be put on a moose-kill list. Any time a moose is hit the State Troopers are called, and then they go down the list and start calling people to find someone who can come and get the moose. This is not a simple matter, because the moose must be cut up on the spot, and a vehicle is needed to carry the meat (we're talking hundreds of pounds here, even for a small moose). Whoever gets it must come right away. I believe you can be put on the list for moose kills on certain sections of road and they call those people first. The bottom line is, a moose is never left to rot on the side of the road. Someone gets it. Seems to me this would be a smart practice in other places.

In discussing this with my neighbor she said there is a farm near Palmer (a low-security detention center) where people raise vegetables, grains, cows and more. All the produce goes to the prisons around the state to feed prisoners, and while it doesn't take care of 100% of the food needs, it provides a large chunk of it. I'll bet they get moose kill too.

And speaking of moose, when I was teaching at the college Thursday I was looking at the student who was speaking when a movement outside caught my eye. A moose was munching on shrubs just outside the window. It was grabbing a bite, then looking up at our classroom....I was a little self-conscious with a moose checking out my class! Then another moose walked by behind him in the parking lot. Of course, being Alaska, nobody even got out of their seats to look....!

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