Posted: February 21st, 2019, 1:21 pm
They are just the most godawful things ever.
This count would later produce an estimated infestation total of just under 14,000 ticks. This was actually far fewer than they often found, but it was enough to render this calf chronically anemic from January through March and then acutely, fatally anemic in the last couple of weeks of his life. In April, when the gravid females start taking their blood meals, the blood loss over their last two to four weeks aboard the moose “can equate to a calf’s total blood volume,” according to one recent paper—some three and a half gallons. As Inga Sidor, the New Hampshire state veterinary pathologist who processed the tissue samples Debow and Blouin took that day, later told me, the ticks “literally bleed the moose to death.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... se/583189/One of the tragedies of this dilemma—the essence of it—is that whether we shoot the moose or let the ticks suck the young dry, it is we humans, whether through gunshot or climate change, that are killing moose. Jake Debow thinks the hunt would simply be more humane. These tick-ridden calves, he notes, don’t just lie down peacefully one day and die. They suffer for months.