The Alaskan Clydesdale . . . Fact or Fiction?


Logging Moose

Logging Moose

From the land of Sarah Palin comes another media sensation. This photo has been making the rounds on various websites and blogs along with this description:

This guy raised an abandoned moose calf with his horses, and believe it or not, he has trained it for lumber removal and other hauling tasks. Given the 2,000 pounds of robust muscle, and the splayed grippy hooves, he claims it is the best work animal he has. He says the secret to keeping the moose around is a sweet salt lick. Although, during the rut he disappears for a couple of weeks, he always comes home.

Delving further into the story, the man is identified as Mr. Jacques Leroux and there is a whole page describing how he raised the moose and got it accustomed to wearing  a harness. The problem is, the moose story had shifted to Maine.

Sadly, this story has been debunked as an urban legend (see Work Moose in Harness at http://www.urbanlegends.com and Logging the Northern Way at http://www.snopes.com). But it’s worth visiting at least one of these sites to read the rest of the very creative writing that describes this picture. The Urban Legends site also explains how you can tell the picture has been photoshopped.

Even though this photo is a fake, the idea of using moose as an alternative to a horse is not new. Check out some of these photos:

Ben Moore's Moose in Harness, Skagway, Alaska

Moose team photographed in 1898.
Moose team photographed in 1898 at Athabasca Landing, Alberta Canada. Photo courtesy of the Jasper Yellowhead Museum Archives.
Moose pulling a sleigh.

Moose pulling a sleigh.

Moose under saddle.

Moose under saddle.

One response

  1. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been seeing these photos since I moved to Alaska in 78. There’s a recent photo in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner (check for it online) recently showing a girl sitting next to a sleeping moose that her family raised from an abandoned calf. It’s been done, but moose are thick headed and not really tuned in to humans!

    I prefer horses.

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