Wilfred believes that Marcel is his pet moose, and although the wild animal does not follow all of Wilfred’s pet rules, Wilfred never questions his ownership of the animal. Marcel is good at being quiet, and providing shelter for Wilfred, but would rather follow tasty apples rather than listen to Wilfred’s direction. Will Wilfred realize he does not in fact own Marcel? This light-hearted book is a good reminder of the differences in how we care for domestic and wild animals.
Why use this book?
- Highlights the important difference between people’s interactions with wildlife compared to domestic animals.
- Showcases through illustrations that the moose (and all wildlife) does not belong to anyone.
Animal Welfare Considerations:
- The story shows the boy engaging in unsafe behaviour with wildlife (approaching, feeding, etc). Throughout the story the boy thinks the moose is following him when in fact the moose is just searching for food. A discussion could be had with students around the importance of respecting wildlife (not feeding, not touching, giving space, etc).
Ask you Students:
- How do we ‘care’ for wildlife? How is ‘caring’ for wildlife different than caring for pets or farm animals?
- What advice would you give the boy to be safe and respectful around moose (and all wildlife)?
- What is significance of the apple in the illustrations?
- Have students list similarities and differences between a wild moose and a pet dog or cat using a Venn diagram. Encourage students to include ways people care for each animal. People can care for moose (and all wildlife) by giving them space, and protecting their habitat.
- Marcel has a list of rules that make a good pet. Domestic animals (pets and farm animals) depend on people to meet their physical and emotional needs. As a class make a list of what responsibilities are included in being a good pet owner. Domestic animals have the same general requirements, outlined in the Five Freedoms. However, different species have different specific needs. After coming up with the list of the responsibilities of being a good pet owner, have students pick a domestic animal and explain how they would care for that animal using the list. Ie. All domestic animals need food – rabbits need a balanced diet of hay, fresh veggies, some pellets and fruit.
- All about Moose – In pairs or in small groups have students research moose. Students can create a poster to demonstrate what they’ve discovered. Encourage students to include moose safety tips on the poster (giving the animal space, not feeding, etc.).
Additional Resources Related to Book:
- For additional information on moose visit the Edmonton & Area Land Trust