4. September 2022| Wolf protection, Movies, Poland

Wolves and moose - testing prey

Moose are the largest ungulate mammals found in Świętokrzyskie forests. Our photo traps have repeatedly recorded them moving through wolf retreats in the Daleszycki Forest.

Most often they were cow moose with calves, and somewhat less often bulls. Several times we came across moose bones with traces of wolf teeth (note from April 3, 2019 Summary of winter in the Świętokrzyskie region).

On January 22 of this year, we found a fresh pelvis and a fragment of the spine of a moose killed on the ice, in a reed bed, with clear traces of wolf teeth (photo below). We have observed a cow moose with two grown calves in this area several times, and on the same day as the killed roe, the cow was seen there with only one calf. This suggests that the moose remains found may have belonged to the cow’s second calf.

On July 14, a photo trap recorded a cow moose with a calf, followed a few meters away by a wolf (video). In the footage, we can see that as the animals move out of frame, the sloshing of water and the snorting of the vulture can be heard from a nearby alder. The wolf following the moose most likely attempted to attack the young one, and the recorded noises were a defensive reaction from the moose’s mother.

We suppose that in the forest complexes we monitor, moose may fall prey to wolves from time to time, but juveniles are usually killed. It is possible that wolves test the strength and vitality of young moose every time they encounter them. If they encounter a weaker or sickly individual, or if defense by the cow moose is ineffective, the wolf may manage to kill and eat it.

In our opinion, adult moose are attacked by wolves relatively rarely, most likely due to their size and strength.

Author: Tomasz Bracik

Szczątki łosia

Szczątki łosia ze śladami wilczych zębów, styczeń 2022