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April 6, 2015 | Tim Hauserman
Until January 22nd of this year the glorious head of a moose stood proudly in a place of honor above the sitting area near the entrance to Sunnyside Lodge. While I’m not sure if his name was Bullwinkle and whether like all good moose he went to Whattsmatta U to obtain his college education, the moose was a proud and iconic symbol of Sunnyside Lodge. Since moose are very large and intimidating, he was also a creature that was not easily forgotten by those who visited Sunnyside. But somehow in the middle of that fateful night in January someone managed to corral this massive creature from the lodge.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation, and after finding no leads, put the word out to the press about the moose disappearance. This started a media frenzy. There is something about a story about a missing moose head that makes headline writers wring their hands in glee: “The Moose is Loose” seemed to be a popular choice amongst the dozens of newspapers and television newscasts publicizing the loss. Social media also lit up with pleas for the return of the beloved moose.
The media exposure worked, as it turned out the moose was hidden in plain sight the whole time. A long time Tahoe local found the moose in the drainage ditch the day after its disappearance. It had suffered a broken antler and some other minor damage, but otherwise was Ok. He put it in his truck and took it home to put in storage, hoping that whomever lost the moose would get the word out about its disappearance. When he finally heard the story on the news, he called Sunnyside the next morning and a reuniting was arranged. The moose will soon be remounted in its former place of honor. And editors were able to release headlines like: “Moose is no longer on the loose.”
Jeff Oxandaboure, Managing Partner of Sunnyside says, “Our moose has been a part of the entrance to Sunnyside since 1987, it’s a shocker it’s taken 28 years for someone to take it. We are going to throw a big party to celebrate the return of the moose on April 7th.” It will be burger and beer night and along with the burger you can get Moose Drool beer and listen to the music of Chi Mclean. See you there.