Canadians are renowned worldwide for being good people, who would be more than happy to share the best things this country has to offer with the rest of the world. Tim Hortons has recently been shared with China and Barack Obama, and the Raptor’s incredible talent is being shared with sports fans across the globe. That being said, the one thing that the people of Canada are not willing to give up, is the “world’s biggest moose” title, and it’s probably the most Canadian thing ever. In fact, our very own Mac the Moose is getting ready to go to war over the title.
Work began yesterday to remove the antlers from Moose Jaw’s famous moose sculpture, which will be undergoing renovations in an attempt to regain his title of ‘world’s largest moose’. The old antlers were removed by a team of local volunteers and each one weighed between 400-500 pounds.
Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie said "We're considered to be very mannerly and respectful, but there are things you just don't do to Canadians. You don't mess with Mac the Moose."
The concrete sculpture, named ‘Mac the Moose’, had held the record for the largest moose in the world for 31 years, standing impressively tall at 9.8 meters (32 feet) high. He has become a landmark destination for locals and visitors to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan since his completion in 1984, and is one of the most photographed roadside attractions in Canada.
However in 2015 Mac’s reign came to a crushing end, as he was surpassed by a Norweigan moose sculpture with the name of ‘Storelgen’, a shiny metal moose who was deliberately created to be around 50 centimeters taller than Canada’s Mac.
While Norway’s moose has successfully held the title for the last four years, Canada has put on its game face and is ready to regain the claim of ‘world’s largest’. Tolmie said, "I think they [Norway] win the good looks award, but we're going to win the height award."
The work is expected to be complete by September, and Mac’s new, taller antlers will take his total height to 10.4 meters (34 feet). They will be created by an expert taxidermist, Rion White, who says that is looking forward to giving back to the city but is definitely “feeling the pressure”.
The old antlers will be taken to White’s workshop for the time being and used as a reference for the new ones. According to White, the new antlers will be constructed from a metal base, which will need to be light-weight and weather-proof. He said the hardest part of the project will be to shape and create the antler’s angles but he's confident his team will succeed.
Just the talk of Mac’s new antlers has already had an impact on the tourism in Moose Jaw. Jacki L'Heureux-Mason, executive director of Tourism Moose Jaw, said the last few months of media attention has been a boom to the local economy, with tourism in May alone at an increase of more than 30 percent. She said, "He [the moose] has brought people off the highway and then he lets us do our job and tell everybody about the amazing things Moose Jaw has to offer."
Although the new antlers are likely to cost somewhere in the region of $10,000-$15,000, for Mayor Tolmie this is a small price to pay for their moose. He said "He is really the guardian of our gates. He has been a stalwart for the last 35 years of our community welcoming people in”.