Imagine running a sleepaway camp deep in the Maine woods, where the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves are your daily soundtrack. That’s the life of Shannon Lugdon, the owner of Lugdon Lodge. Her camp isn’t just a haven for kids; it’s also a hotspot for wildlife encounters. From deer to raccoons, and even wild moose, Shannon has seen it all. On a sunny June morning, Shannon’s routine took an unexpected turn. She heard the distressed cries of a young moose echoing through the trees. Following the sound, she discovered a baby moose, all alone and seemingly in need of help. Concerned, Shannon reached out to local wardens for advice. Their recommendation? Leave the little one alone for a day. “Wild animals often leave their babies to eat, drink, and rest,” Shannon shared on Facebook. “Abandoned’ moose are rarely actually abandoned.”
Throughout the day, the baby moose, later named Miss Maggie, explored her surroundings. She roamed near the brook where her mom had left her and even ventured perilously close to a nearby road. Shannon kept a watchful eye, ready to step in if the situation turned dire. Thankfully, Miss Maggie retreated back into the safety of the woods. The next day, Shannon decided to take her German Shepherd, Leo, for a morning walk. To her astonishment, Miss Maggie was still there. But what happened next was even more surprising: Leo dashed towards the baby moose, and the two began to play! It was as if they were long-lost friends, reunited in the most unlikely of circumstances. With Miss Maggie’s mother still nowhere in sight, Shannon took it upon herself to become the baby moose’s temporary guardian. She whipped up a delicious ‘milkshake’ of grass, clover, and water for the young moose. After consulting with a vet, Shannon also offered her a bottle of milk.
It wasn’t just Shannon and Leo who fell in love with Miss Maggie; her family, campers, and even the wardens were smitten. The baby moose had a gentle disposition and seemed to enjoy the company of her newfound human and canine friends. She was especially fond of Leo, her first friend in this big, confusing world. Later that afternoon, the wardens returned to assess the situation. Realizing that Miss Maggie’s mother had not returned, they decided it was time to consult an expert. Enter Amanda DeMusz, a biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. With her extensive experience in caring for abandoned animals, Amanda was the perfect person to take over Miss Maggie’s care. It was a bittersweet moment when Miss Maggie had to say goodbye to her best buddy, Leo. The wardens transported her to the Maine Wildlife Park, where she quickly settled in as if she’d been there all her life. The park would be her home until she was old enough to possibly return to the wild.
Shannon plans to visit Miss Maggie soon, and she’s hopeful that Leo can come along for the reunion. While the reason for Miss Maggie’s initial abandonment remains a mystery, one thing is clear: she found a loving community of humans and one very special dog to help her through it. It’s a heartwarming tale that reminds us of the incredible bonds that can form between species, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Maine wilderness.
Watch the sweet video of them playing together below!
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