Pygmy Moose Scam Traced to Canadian Government
The pygmy moose scam which has left thousands of American consumers fuming in recent months was conceived of by a Canadian government agency, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
"We are not amused," said FBI Director Robert Mueller. "Our investigation has uncovered incontrovertible evidence that this entire operation has been run from the start by the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development. I am deeply disappointed in this shameful exploitation of American consumers by an ostensibly law-abiding country like Canada," he added. "Shame, shame, Canada."
The scam began in 2002, when specialty pet stores began announcing a "breakthrough" in breeding that had produced a new "pygmy" moose. Allegedly, the diminutive creatures looked "just like a moose, only small enough to live in your house!" Thousands of eager people paid for cute, 30-pound animals that arrived in neat little kennels, described as fully grown.
"What people don't realize is that regular moose calves are around 30 pounds when born," said biologist Harvey Mullin, of the University of Washington. "Then they grow up."
Consumers became suspicious when their "pygmy moose" began growing at an alarming rate. By 2003, the cute 30-pound animals weighed several hundred pounds.
"Ironically, most pygmy moose owners assumed they'd been overfeeding their pets, and there was a brief flurry of interest in very expensive diet moose chow," said Mullin. "I'm telling you, it was actually pretty funny for a while."
By the end of 2003, when the first crop of animals began reaching maturity, it had become obvious to even the most obtuse of pygmy moose owners that something was amiss.
"My couch simply cannot handle a 1,000 pound animal," lamented Corinne Stokes, of Minneapolis. "I love my Henry dearly, but he is nearly six feet tall at the shoulder now. His antlers have demolished most of my light fixtures, and my maids keep quitting."
The FBI alleges that the whole scheme was the brainchild of Alberta Economic Development Minister Mark Norris, who saw an opportunity when hearing the Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) Minister Mike Cardinal complain about the moose population in Alberta. According to the FBI, Norris' plan reaped millions in sales, and also saved SRD millions in moose-management costs.
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin was unapologetic.
"Let's see: Norris saved us millions, helped ensure the survival of thousands of moose calves, and fleeced thousands of Americans with too much disposable income and not enough common sense to learn basic facts about moose biology," Martin mused at a press conference. "I was rather thinking of giving him a medal."