ANCHORAGE -

The next time you see a moose calf by itself, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game asks that you leave it alone or call Fish and Game biologists.

The department says in the past two weeks, four moose calves have been picked up in the Mat-Su Valley by people who thought the animals had been abandoned by their mothers.

Officials say a man in Willow was trying to raise a calf by putting a leash on it and chaining the animal in a dog run. Another person took a calf home and had it in their living room before Fish and Game came to pick it up.

“When I responded, they had the calf inside the living room,” said area wildlife biologist Todd Rinaldi. “And they had not tried to feed it, but it had urinated in their living room -- on the white carpet.”

Rinaldi says none of the calves were reunited with their mothers, and they had to be taken to the Alaska Zoo or the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

Fish and Game says cow moose will often leave their calves alone, sometimes up to 24 hours, before reuniting with them. Officials say human contact can cause a cow to truly abandon its calf, if the animal smells like a person or something out of the ordinary.

If you find a lone calf during business hours, you can call the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at 907-746-6300. If it's after hours, call Alaska State Troopers and they will get in touch with Fish and Game.