11-29-14 Mollusks in moose gut - Egegik, Alaska, USA
About 15 miles up the King Salmon River we found a hard mollusk type creatures in the stomach of a moose we harvested. It had a hard shell with a sucker like a leech. They were lite brown and the foot (like a clam) was white with black on the end. It was spread out like a sucker. They were a little less than an inch and stuck all along the lining of the stomach. There were maybe a hundred of them. I collected them and took pictures then put them in a zip lock bag. We sent some to Fish and Game in King Salmon but they never were able to get back to us. We are wanting to know what type of animal this is. We want to raise awareness about invasive species and plants. We were concerned about sharing moose with elders for health reasons and because some elders are frail and have weaker immune systems. Jessica Chenikoff
Consult: we shared this observation with Dr. Kim Beckmen, veterinarian with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and Dr. Bob Gerlach, veterinarian with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Dr. Gerlach said the most likely scenario is that the moose was feeding in a wetland and had swallowed the mollusks along with the plants it was eating. He did not think that this was a parasite or any kind of risk for consumption. The mollosk most likely would have been digested shortly.