During ᴍɪʟɪᴛᴀʀʏ ᴇxᴇʀᴄɪsᴇs in the forests of Estonia, a Sᴏʟᴅɪᴇʀ sᴀᴠᴇᴅ a hairy citizen from a ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs situation. Erich Jyri Prikko is a member of the Estonian ᴅᴇꜰᴇɴsᴇ ꜰᴏʀᴄᴇ, and was recently placed in a unit near the shores of Lake Võrtsjärv. It was there that, last week, Prikko decided to venture into the forest looking for an “alternative bathroom.” At that point, he found a baby moose ᴅᴇsᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴇ for help.
“I heard some funny voices that reminded me a cat or a small baby,” Prikko told The Dodo. “I noticed some kind of a cute animal walking towards me. At first he reminded me a dog, but pretty quickly I realized it was a small baby moose trying to tell me something.”
The moose was all alone in the forest. Prikko decided to sit down, hoping that the baby moose would lose interest in him and go back to his mom. But as soon as Prikko sat down, the moose walked up to him.
“He slowly walked towards me,” Prikko told The Dodo. “He was quite shy at first, but he finally decided that I seemed to be trustworthy and came very close to me.”
The small animal was a little cautious at first, but soon started sniffing his new friend. Eventually, it got even closer to Prikko and licked him and went looking for something in his armpits.
“He even tried to find something under my armpit,” Prikko said. “He might have thought that I have mammary glands.”
The baby moose, it seemed, had quickly come to consider the Sᴏʟᴅɪᴇʀ his mother. Prikko could not fulfill the request, of course, but the hungry calf nevertheless seemed comforted by his gentle presence alone. It was then that Prikko decided to help in another way.
He called the Estonian ᴀʀᴍʏ’s veterinarian office, and they told him the best thing to do was to bring the moose back to where Prikko found him. Then, he should leave the moose alone and monitor the situation from afar. Because of Prikko’s report, a vet was dispatched to the scene with a bottle of milk to feed the baby moose just in case his mother failed to return.
Prikko and his unit did their best to avoid disturbing the area, in case the calf’s mother would be spooked away. And, sure enough, after hearing a moose call in the night, Prikko awoke to find the baby ᴡᴀs ɢᴏɴᴇ.
As a Sᴏʟᴅɪᴇʀ, Prikko believes that it’s his duty to protect animals, too — and he fulfilled this mission perfectly. “I wanted the calf’s mother to find him and I was very satisfied when we found out that they really found each other.”