New Home For Moose In Columbus

Fred Kight

Updated Tue, Aug 30, 2011 11:09 am

"Ooh's" and "Ah's" could be heard along the fence.

"Aren't they cute?" was also coming from people visiting the Columbus Zoo last week.

The reason was because three moose calves who were put on display.

The three moose youngsters are from Alaska and not used to Ohio's summer heat, so fans have been moved in to cool them off.

And Lori Monska is watching closely.

"I'm spending as much time with them as I can," she says.

Monska is a zookeeper in the North America area of the Columbus Zoo, and calls herself "a moose lover".

"These are wild orphans.  They need to learn to trust us."

There's one male moose calf and two females.

All are orphans.

"They're more relaxed today than they were yesterday."

The calves were rescued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and were cared for locally until they were transported to the Columbus Zoo last month.

Monska says at first they were put in quarantine, which is routine procedure.    

The calves are currently being bottle-fed and will join the Zoo's other moose in the future.

"It'll probably be some time next year."

Alaskan moose live in marshes, ponds and lakes.

In the wild, they eat water plants and are browsers.

"They go through a lot of willow, a lot of maple."

Moose are the largest members of the deer family. They are not an endangered species but are heavily studied to learn more about how moose relate to their environment.

"I think it's going to be a huge draw for us."

An adult male moose, also called a bull, can weigh up to 1200 pounds and measure seven feet at the shoulder.

Females, or cows, weigh 200-400 pounds less depending on the season.

Only bull moose grow antlers.