Rare moose sighting near Cherry

(PHOTO: via Chandra Joki on Facebook group "Beautiful Photos of the Mesabi Iron Range.")

(PHOTO: via Chandra Joki on Facebook group “Beautiful Photos of the Mesabi Iron Range.”)

My social media feed has been abuzz with pictures and tales of moose patrolling Highway 37 near my ancestral lands of Cherry, Minnesota. The Mesabi Daily News reports this morning that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has issued a warning to motorists to be on alert for two young female moose in the area just west of the Cherry School.

As has been widely reported, Minnesota’s moose population has declined significantly in recent years and it has become quite rare to see them down around the Mesabi Iron Range. Most of Minnesota’s moose population is found in the far north, with a few other pockets of moose elsewhere. In this case, these moose are believed to be “teenage” castoffs from a family most likely located in the more remote Sax-Zim Bog just south of the Iron Range.

We happened to be driving through Cherry yesterday and had our whole carload of people looking for moose. Alas, none were to be seen.

We did note, with some amusement, that the parking lot at Cherry’s only bar/restaurant The Thirsty Moose was full at dinner time on our way back through. Perhaps the moose were inside, regaling the crowd with stories of the forest and hustling pool with their giant hooves.

In all seriousness, keep an eye out for these moose. Deer-car collisions are extremely common in Northern Minnesota, but those usually don’t end in injuries to the driver or passengers. Moose-car collisions are a very different thing, and the moose population is so delicate now we want to keep as many of them alive as possible.

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