A petroleum employee in Fort Nelson, British Columbia is out of a job after taking a moose calf on a 5-hour drive inside his company-issued vehicle. Mark Skage claims a black bear was stalking the young, wobbly-legged moose calf when he drove by the scene. He stopped to pet the moose on its head then opened the door on his work truck before the few-days-old calf climbed in.
“There was a black bear 50 yards away from her just waiting,” posted Skage. “I couldn’t just leave here there so I stuck her in the passenger side and drove to town to get her some help.”
While traveling with the calf, Skage reached out to the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service. Officers there eventually transferred the moose to a wildlife rehab center. According to local reports, it’ll be released back into the wild after some time in rehab.
He says that he initially wanted to diffuse the situation since the calf was so close to traffic. But when he helped it into the cab of the truck, he did more than that. CBC News reports AFD Petroleum, Inc. fired Skage for breaking wildlife protocol.
“The individual made the independent decision to transport an uninjured moose calf, a wild animal, in the front seat of his company vehicle for many hours,” wrote Dale Reimer, AFD president, in an emailed statement provided to CBC News. “This not only put the employee and other road users at risk, but also potentially caused distress and harm to the moose.”
In a video posted to his personal Facebook page, Skage is seen gently patting the moose’s head and back. “Hey buddy, where’s mom?” he asks the wild animal. “It’s cold ‘eh? You can’t just be out here all by yourself.”
Skage said he stands by his decision to “save” the calf—a female he named Misty. “She’s gonna grow up and have lots of babies, and her babies will have babies,” Skage said. “It think it’s a positive. I believe that in my heart.”