Rescued moose returns every day to the man who saved her life
Tons of heroes rescue abandoned dogs and cats -- but Erikas Plucas' story is a little unconventional.
One day, he came home to find a 2-week-old baby moose outside his gate.
"The first sight of her was heartbreaking," Plucas, who lives in Lithuania, told The Dodo. "She was starved, dirty, sad, her fur was infested with flies, and she was so terrified of me when she first saw me but was too weak to run away, to even get up."
Plucas said he assumed the baby's mother had been shot by hunters. He took the sickly little moose into his home to figure out what he should do.
There wasn't much animal services could do for the creature.
"Since here in Lithuania we do not have a special institution who would take care of wild orphan animals, they called local hunters and asked if they can take her," Plucas said. "I knew it meant certain death for her, so I insisted I should keep the baby, and they agreed."
His friends all told him to leave the animal alone.
"I was met with hostility and contempt," Plucas told The Dodo. "'It is illegal, you should not do it, let nature take care of it' was all I heard."
Regardless, he decided to keep the animal. He named her Emma, and their friendship grew with every passing day.
See photos of their adorable bond:
However, it wasn't easy. He had to feed her every four hours, and she cried every time Plucas tried to go inside.
"She was afraid of everything but me," Plucas told The Dodo.
As Emma got bigger and harder to care for, her human friend took her for walks in the forest in hopes that some day she would return. At first, she was terrified -- but eventually she trusted him enough to follow him everywhere.
When the moose began to go into the forest on her own, Plucas knew it was time for them to go their separate ways.
"I remember those first nights that she didn't come home," he told The Dodo. "Oh, I barely slept. But she grew up, I had to get over it. After all, it was my goal from the very beginning."
Emma now lives in the wild on her own, but she visits Plucas every day.