Written by: Jim Knox Curator of Education at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
“Can we pet him, Daddy?” my young daughters asked in near unison at the sight of the giant creature some yards away.
“No girls. We’ll just watch him safely from here,” I responded in a hush so as not to startle the object of our amazement.
Along with a growing caravan of onlookers, we sat quietly a few car lengths behind the huge animal, with the driver’s window cracked open, observing its every move. When the mountain breeze in the notch shifted, we could hear it munching on the undergrowth along the western shoulder of the ascending road. We were treated to a sight of the wild north country. We took in the enormous creature before us. It stood on four impossibly long legs, its blackish-brown barrel-shaped body dominating our field on view. With palm-like antlers crowning its head more than seven feet above the ground, we beheld New England’s largest land mammal.