Frisky Moose picks unlikely partner

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By Karen Dandurant

Hampton Union, October 8, 2008

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- People attending a conference at the Windsor Institute got a surprise Wednesday as a moose decided one of their pickup trucks was really attractive.

Mike Dunbar, owner of the business, said the moose got pretty amorous with a red Ford F150 truck owned by one of his conferees.

"I pulled in this morning and at first thought there was a horse in the driveway but then realized it was a moose," Dunbar said. "It kind of circled the truck. It put one leg up and then a second front leg. After a few minutes, it became obvious what was going on. The people here for classes came outside and started taking pictures. The guy who owned the truck kept beeping his alarm, hoping it would scare it off but I guess (the moose) thought it was the call of the wild."

Dunbar said the moose eventually wandered off, leaving embarrassed owner Michael Speck with a scratched up truck.

Speck would only say he was from central New York.

"It's a nice truck, red, very pretty," Speck said, laughing. "It was interesting. I feel very blessed."

Speck said he doesn't know if he'll report the incident in spite of the truck being scratched heavily on the front. He wondered how he'd even explain it.

The Windsor Institute, according to its Web site, was founded by internationally renowned chair maker Mike Dunbar and his wife, Sue. It is the only school in the world dedicated to teaching Windsor chair-making.

Mark Ellingwood, a wildlife biologist with New Hampshire Fish and Game, said he had never heard of anything like this before.

"I would call it atypical behavior," said Ellingwood. "It is possible that the behavior is associated with a neurological disease that sometimes affects southern New Hampshire moose. It's called brain worm and can result in lethargy and other behaviors out of the ordinary."

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