Charging Bull Moose

I was driving up to the base of one of Colorado’s more popular fourteeners early one morning last week, slowly making my way around the twists and turns of the mountain pass, when I came across three moose. There were two adults and one young calf. While it was incredible, I chose to observe for just a minute and move on as quickly as I had arrived.

Why, you ask, didn’t I stop to take a photo or a video? Why didn’t I take some time to enjoy the nature? Because moose are scary. That’s why. While I understand and appreciate the love for animals, I really didn’t want to have to explain to my insurance company why my car was all dented up.

Moose are huge, standing around 6 feet on average and weighing up to 1,400 pounds. Unfortunately for those on the “oh damn, I’m being chased by a moose” end of things, their size doesn’t equate to slow speed. In fact, they’re able to cruise at speeds up to 35mph in the woods (Usain Bolt topped out around 27mph).

Here’s a little clip from the Instagram page for Woollysteer Ranch in Ontario that might be able to plant an image in your head of why you need to respect moose.

Here are five fun facts about moose:

  1. Largest Deer Species: Moose are the largest species of deer in the world. Adult males, known as bulls, can weigh up to 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms) and stand over 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall at the shoulder. Their massive size and distinctive antlers make them an impressive sight in the wild.
  2. Unique Antlers: Male moose grow antlers, which are among the largest of any deer species. The antlers can span up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) from tip to tip and weigh around 40 pounds (18 kilograms). Interestingly, moose shed and regrow their antlers every year, and the size and shape of the antlers can vary between individuals.
  3. Excellent Swimmers: Moose are surprisingly good swimmers and are known to swim across rivers and lakes in search of food or to escape predators. They are capable of swimming up to 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) per hour and can dive up to 20 feet (6 meters) below the water’s surface to feed on aquatic plants.
  4. Herbivorous Diet: Moose are herbivores and primarily feed on plant material such as leaves, bark, twigs, and aquatic plants. In the winter months, when food is scarce, they can consume up to 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of plant material in a single day. Their long legs and necks allow them to reach vegetation that other animals cannot.
  5. Unpredictable Behavior: While moose may appear calm and docile, they can become unpredictable and aggressive, especially during the mating season, known as the rut. Bulls engage in territorial fights with other males, using their antlers to establish dominance. It’s important to give moose their space and avoid approaching them in the wild to ensure safety for both humans and the animals.

Related: Little Cottonwood Canyon Moose Nearly Hit By SUV, First Rabid Moose in Alaska State History Discovered

Image Credit: Rach & Jay via Instagram

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