How one farm's moose milk is helping hospital patients in Russia

Rebecca Lewis
Yahoo! News UK
Dr Alexander Mineav works on the farm with 25 moose, using the milk for treatment of illnesses and conducting research into moose behaviour (Caters)

For most Siberians moose are a good source of meat - but for one Russian farm it's the creature's milk that is proving to be a real hit.

Dr Alexander Minaev and his team on the Kostroma Moose Farm in Siberia work a herd of 25 moose.

But the milk from the huge animals does not end up in a carton in the fridge; instead it is given to the local hospital to help cancer patients and treat ulcers.

The the milk contains Lysozyme - an enzyme which naturally protects the body from infection - and is incredibly nutritious.

Dr Minaev said: "The milk is used in the hospital situated not far from the farm for gastric ulcer treatment, gastritis treatment and also during the irradiation treatment on cancer."

The moose on the farm also provide plenty of entertainment for visitors due to their naturally "funny" expressions and "contemplative" moods.

He said: "Moose don't have much reason for sadness - they almost have no enemies because of their size. The food is always around and that's why they are at most calm and even lazy.

"Their main mood is contemplative, that's why they seem to smile on some photos."

Dr Minaev said the moose were allowed to roam freely because he thought it was cruel to keep a wild animal enclosed.

He added: "Different to deer - moose need the freedom - at least a couple of months a year.

"In this part of Russia there are still some people who keep moose as 'pets' - they also used them because if you have a moose in your yard intruders might be scared to enter.

"The only problem is that moose do become easily attached and it's quite hard to walk away from one if it wants to follow you."