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Moose Researchers Seek To Avert Abandonments

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Wildlife biologists attaching GPS tracking collars to the newborn moose are cautiously hopeful they’ve found a solution to some mothers abandoning their calves shortly after researchers attached the collars.

Researchers studying northeastern Minnesota’s declining moose population started collaring adult moose early last year. When calves were born in spring they’d allow time for mothers and calves to bond, then swoop in by helicopter to collar the calves and perform health checks. That approach has worked well elsewhere.

But in Minnesota seven of 31 mothers abandoned nine freshly collared calves last spring, and the problem persisted this spring despite quieter approaches on foot.

So they devised yet another strategy: slipping a collar onto the calves and leaving within 15 seconds. So far it’s working.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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