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‘Molting’ Municipal Moose Head in Maine Heads to Market

Some couples have used Eliot's worn-out moose head as a backdrop for small civil weddings: "They find it the most hilarious, Maine, New England thing they could possibly be doing"

A Maine town is getting ready to part ways with a furry friend.

Officials have decided to auction off a moose head that's been mounted on a wall in the Eliot, Maine, town office for years. The moose is roughly 100 years old.

It came into the possession of a local boy scout troop sometime in the 1940s, according to town manager, Dana Lee.

At some point, it was given to the town as a gift and mounted in the town meeting room in 1985.

Over the years, the taxidermy on the bull moose has worn out. There is a rip in the nose and spots and dust on the fur.

"We don't have the money to repair it and it doesn't look too good," Lee said.

Officials considered repairing the moose, but some estimates came back as high as $4,000, which was determined to be too much to spend.

"We have lots of other needs in the town of Eliot other than fixing an old molting moose," Lee said.

The moose would also need some work to stay mounted on the wall because the brackets holding it in place are bending, putting people who sit underneath that in the slightest bit of a risky situation.

"People will sit right here through the whole meeting, and I just think to myself, if that comes down...," Lee said.

According to town employees, opinions about the mount are divided.

Some people in Eliot find the moose a "disgusting" symbol of hunting, others say it's very sentimental, a special piece of town history.

"Kids love visiting him," said longtime Eliot clerk, Wendy Rawski, adding that some couples have used the head as a backdrop for small civil weddings.

"They find it the most hilarious, Maine, New England thing they could possibly be doing."

Despite that attachment, all the employees hope that whoever the moose's new owner is restores him completely.

Anyone interested in putting in a bid for the moose mount, information can be found at eliotmaine.org.

The auction ends at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30.

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