This morning we came across this cow moose along the Mirror Lake Highway in Summit County. At first, while looking through our viewfinders, we weren’t sure what was “stuck” to her face. Turns out that this poor critter was the apparent loser in an encounter with a porcupine as she had at least 13 quills embedded in the bulbous part of her nose.
She watched us carefully for a few minutes…
and then began to lick her snout as if she was either trying to dislodge the quills or simply sooth the pain.
At least she was able to eat with no apparent problem.
Then she turned toward the road, crossed it right in front of us and went into the shade for a few seconds before ambling off.
I’ve got to admit to feeling very badly for this poor animal. I’ve seen farm dogs and horses fall victim to the wrath of porcupines and it isn’t pretty. There was a road-killed porcupine a very short distance from where we found this moose and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the same animal that tagged her.