The poor moose. They have a tough time finding enough food, face being hunted every autumn. and now comes word that those in the counties of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder have poorer health than moose in other parts of Norway.
The Agder moose also have a higher mortality rate than moose elsewhere, reports Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Researchers aren’t sure why, but nearly half of a group being electronically tailed have died prematurely.
“It can be a matter of the topography in southern Norway, and the fight for food,” veterinarian Line Mørch in Tvedestrand told NRK Sørlandet.
Mørch recently performed an autopsy on yet another dead moose (called elgin Norwegian, and not to be confused with the elk) found at Vegårshei, in the hills above the southern coast. Township officials have followed 25 moose marked with radio senders over the past three years, and 12 of them have died during the period.
Mørch is surprised over the high mortality rate of nearly 50 percent, which elsewhere in Norway is set at about 5 percent.
The moose population has increased rapidly in recent years, meaning that they compete for food. Heavy snowfall during the past winter made the fight for food even tougher, and some researchers think the moose either starved to death or became too weak and thus vulnerable to other ailments.