On Monday morning, after the GoPro Mountain Games crowd had cleared out of town, staff members at the Antlers at Vail ski lodge found a four-legged guest hunkered down in the lobby. The baby moose, which was estimated to be about a week old by Kevin Wright, the Upper Roaring Fork District wildlife manager, wandered in through the open front doors of the hotel.
Staff members said children were chasing the moose around the hotel before wildlife officials were called in. But before help arrived, it checked out early and went running down the street. "He just ran right into the lobby and was in there for about 10 to 20 minutes," Antlers conference services manager Katie Nelson told Vail Daily. "We were looking around to see if the mom was around."
But the mother was nowhere to be found. In fact, Wright had received calls earlier in the day concerning the calf bleating and roaming along a creek. He'd left the calf alone in hopes that it would reunite with its mother without human intervention, but next thing he knew, Wright was being called to Antlers to help the calf. Its mother never did turn up.
Wildlife workers tranquilized the moose and took it to a nearby facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, where it is being cared for along with another abandoned baby moose.
Wright said that the future of the calf is undetermined, but it is very unlikely that it will ever find a home in the wild again because of its exposure to humans at such a young age.