Like members of all military forces, those in the Estonian Defense Forces work to ensure the safety of their country and its residents. But those countrymen and women aren’t the only ones whose safety and comfort they care about.
Earlier this month, Erich Jyri Prikko and his fellow soldiers were performing military exercises near Lake Võrtsjärv, in the southern part of the country.
At one point, he wandered off alone to “answer the call of nature.” But nature, in a sense, called to him, instead.
While out in the woods, he heard small, sorrowful noises coming from somewhere nearby. They sounded like the cries of a cat or small baby, neither of which seemed likely in such a remote location. He soon discovered that the sounds were, in fact, coming from an animal, and as it emerged from the woods, Erich first mistook it for a dog.
But, “pretty quickly I realized it was a small baby moose trying to tell me something,” he recalled.
The baby moose hung back for a while, but after deciding Erich wasn’t a threat, he came within inches and started nuzzling, apparently trying to suckle off this kindhearted soldier.
So that’s it, he realized. This baby’s hungry!
Erich obviously had no nourishment to give, and he grew concerned when he looked around and realized the mother was nowhere to be found. So he called a local vet’s office to see if they could suggest anything. Soon, a vet was dispatched to the site with a bottle of milk.
Eventually, difficult as it was, they knew that leaving the calf would significantly increase the chances that his mother would return for him.
That bet paid off when Erich heard a moose call later that night. He returned to the site with some other soldiers to discover the calf was gone. “We noticed very fresh big moose footprints that indicated that the small calf had been rescued by his mother,” he explained.
Babies, whether they’re human or some other species, are so innocent and vulnerable, and any time we see them in danger, our maternal and paternal instincts kick into overdrive. We’re so glad Erich was able to provide some comfort and nourishment to this little one until he was safely reunited with his mama.