Moose – Everything You Want To Know


Moose is one of the largest animals in North America and is a common sight in some regions, including Canada and Alaska. 

The moose is defined by its gigantic body size and impressive antlers. They are the largest and tallest members of the deer family. They are mostly dark brown or black and have long legs, a hump, and short tails.

I’ve seen many moose and I wanted to share some of my knowledge of the moose with you.

Etymology

Etymology involves first determining the origin of a word, then how it has developed to become its current form.

Each specific word today has its unique origin and history behind it. A previous word from history developed to its current form.

Where Did The Word Moose Come From?

The word moose originates in North America, and the same animal is referred to as an elk in Europe. It is a word that is derived from the Algonquin languages.   A language spoken by the people of Narragansett called the animal moos.  Abenaki, a language spoken by the Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Mi’kmaq called the animal mos.  

What is a female moose called?

A female moose is typically known as a cow. They are usually smaller than their male counterpart and can be distinguished from males by their lack of antlers.

What is a male moose called?

The male moose is referred to as a bull. You can identify a bull from its size because they are larger and darker in color. Bulls have an enormous set of antlers on their heads.

Range

Due to their large size, moose avoid areas with warm temperatures due to their low tolerance levels for heat.

Where do moose live?

The North American moose mainly occupies Alaska, Canada, Michigan, Minnesota and the Rocky Mountains.

Distribution

Moose inhabit various regions across North America. They are in many of the forested zones in North America. They prefer woodland areas that have access to water bodies.

Habitat

The moose habitat is quite specific. The ideal habitat for moose is around forested regions that experience the winter season. The habitat should also include water sources such as lakes and ponds. They look for areas with plenty of vegetation to browse on since they have to maintain their massive bodies.

Their habitat is selective, and the temperatures should not be too cold or too hot. Moose can tolerate the freezing winter temperatures because they have a thick skin with fur.  Their fur ensures that they retain heat and stay warm. However, hot weather is intolerable to these animals, and they need plenty of shade and water sources to cool off.

The forested areas provide adequate shade during the hot summer seasons and also there is enough vegetation to feed on. Through adequate nutrition, moose pack on sufficient body fat to take them through the harsh winter season.

The moose does not inhabit areas with no snow as this puts them at a higher risk of falling prey to wolves and bears. They also stay away from deep snow because it slows down their movement.

Populations

Under favorable conditions and fewer predators, moose can quickly grow in number. In most of the regions in North America with moose, their population is stable.

In Canada, the population of moose ranges from about 500,000 to 1 million. As of 2011, Alaska had a population of about 300,000 moose. In 2011, Michigan had approximately 433 moose while Minnesota had about 5600 in 2010.

If you would like further information on moose, I have compiled 101 facts for you. You can find the article here.

Where do moose live in North America?

Moose in North America inhabit Canada, a huge part of Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, northern Minnesota, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale.

Subspecies

There are four main subspecies of moose in North America. There is the Eastern moose (Alces alces America) mostly found in eastern Canada. The western moose (Alces alces andersoni) inhabits most of central Canada, Minnesota, northern Michigan and North Dakota.

The Shiras moose (Alces alces shiras) is found in the rocky mountains and Canada. Lastly, the Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) is the largest of all the subspecies and is located in Alaska and Canada.

Behavior

Moose are solitary and move independently. They only come together during the mating season. Naturally, the female moose is protective of her calf. A cow can stay with her calf for up to a year when she is ready to mate.

Moose prefer to walk alone in search of food. There are times you will see two of them feeding along the same area.

The bulls engage in sparring in preparation for the rutting season. Sparring matches are meant to portray the dominance and strength of a bull.

Do moose sleep standing up?

Moose can sleep while standing. They keep the head and neck relaxed and slowly slide into a semi-conscious state, with the ears are always alert for any impending danger.

These animals also sleep while lying down on their side and with one antler laid on the ground.

Where do moose sleep?

Moose sleep just about anywhere they feel comfortable to lie down. It is no news for people in moose prone areas to find one sleeping right next to their house.

How long does a moose live?

A healthy moose can live up to 25 years. On average, the lifespan of a moose ranges between 15 – 25 years.

Anatomy

The moose is truly a majestic animal, from its antlers to excellent swimming skills. They have very large ears, and these are for a good reason. Their sense of hearing is exceptional.

The eyes are large and brown. They generally have poor eyesight, and this is because of the positioning of the eyes. The nose is huge and acts as a valve to keep water out when the animal goes underwater.

Do moose have teeth?

Moose have many teeth, comprised of incisors, molars and premolars. They lack teeth in the upper jaw; however, the lower jaw has eight incisors. The incisors are used for biting, gripping or pulling tree branches and barks.

These animals feed on barks, twigs and woody shoots. This kind of vegetation requires proper chewing. They have six pairs of molars and premolars that are used to grind their food thoroughly.

How far can a moose smell?

The large nostrils aid in their keen sense of smell. Since moose cannot see far, they use their smell to detect predators in the vicinity. This animal can smell a wolf or bear that is 2m away from it. They walk against the wind so that it is easy to pick up the scent of a likely predator.

Antlers

It is only the male moose that has antlers, and this is for the sole purpose of attracting females during the rutting season. The size the antlers grow is as a result of their diet and age. The antlers require plenty of nutrients to grow well.

Typically, the bull antlers are wide and flat with tines protruding from the outer edge. The antlers can grow and spread as far as 200 centimeters.

The North American moose has antlers with two lobes on either side resembling a butterfly. They also have larger antlers than the Eurasian moose.

At the beginning of winter, the bulls shed off their antlers so that they can conserve nutrients and energy. The antlers grow once again in spring and the beginning of summer. It takes at least five months for the new antlers to develop fully.

A moose has to feed extensively for the antlers to grow properly and thrive. They are also covered with an area of skin known as velvet that supplies them with nutrients and oxygen.

If you would like further information on moose, I have compiled 101 facts for you. You can find the article here.

Do female moose have antlers?

The cows do not grow antlers. Generally, the hormone testosterone stimulates the growth of antlers in bulls. The female moose do not have this hormone hence cannot grow antlers.

There are rare occurrences where a cow grows antlers.  This phenomenon is linked to hormonal imbalance.

Hooves

Moose have hooves with four toes. Two of them are large and protrude towards the front, and the other two are small. The hooves are designed in such a way that the animal can easily walk on snow and soft ground.

The hooves widen and spread on every step. This enables them to increase their surface area and facilitates natural movement on snow and while swimming.

Fur

The fur of a moose is hollow and comprises of two layers. The topmost layer consists of long guard hairs, and underneath there is the soft undercoat. The fur traps air that helps keep the animal warm and prevents loss of heat.

Additionally, the fur allows for buoyancy during swimming. The fur is one of the reasons moose can swim so well.

Dewlap

The male and female moose each have a dewlap. The males is much larger than the females. The dewlap, also known as a bell is the folded skin underneath the chin.  In Canada, they call it the moosetache.  Males will rub the bell onto the cow during the mating season, transferring their scent onto the female.  

Adaptations

The survival of a particular animal depends on its adaptations to the environment around it. The moose has several adaptations that aid its survival during unbearable climate conditions and dangers from predators.

Antlers

The first adaptation of moose is the antlers. The bull antlers are large and can grow to a width of 6 feet. While this acts as a way of showing dominance and attracting females, they are also the primary weapon of the bulls against enemies. When an enemy or predator approaches, the bull lowers the antlers as a warning.

The antlers are covered in velvet in the summer and spring seasons. Velvet is skin that grows on top of the antlers. During the breeding season, the velvet begins to dry and fall off. Moose help the shedding of the skin by rubbing the antlers on tree bark until it completely comes off.

The antlers are typically bone and require plenty of nutrients to maintain and grow them. They can also be extremely heavy, up to 40 lbs in weight. The absence of velvet facilitates shedding off the antlers just as winter begins. The shedding is important in preserving energy and nutrients during the harsh winter season.

Moose have hoofed feet that allow them to walk in the deep snow without sinking. Also, the hooves have a large surface area for proper gripping in the snow. Similarly, the hooves are used to search for food in the snow.

Legs

This animal’s long legs are very strong. Moose can run up to 35 miles per hour with the help of their long legs. The legs are also useful in jumping over obstacles in their pathway.   The legs help them in swimming and kicking predators.

Fur

Moose survive the freezing winter temperatures due to their hollow fur. The furs trap air and prevent loss of heat while at the same time keeping the animal warm.

Senses

Good eyesight is something that moose lack, with their eyesight being particularly poor.  In spite of this, moose are well adapted for survival in their habitat. 

They do have a powerful sense of smell. A moose can smell a predator from a few miles away. Their excellent sense of smell is accompanied by almost perfect hearing. These senses work together so that the animal can detect and flee from predators on time.

If you would like further information on moose, I have compiled 101 facts for you. You can find the article here.

Do moose get cold?

This animal is well equipped to survive the freezing winter temperatures. Due to their body size, they prefer the arctic regions of the north that tend to be very cold.

Size

The North American moose is among the largest mammals you will find in the region. They have huge bodies, and this is one of the reasons they are considered dangerous animals.

How tall is a moose?

The bull is typically bigger and taller than the cow. At shoulder length, an adult moose can be as tall as 2.1 meters.

How tall was the tallest moose?

The tallest moose was discovered in 1987. It was an Alaskan bull. This bull had a height of 7 feet and 8 inches. The Alaskan bull is the largest of the subspecies in North America.

How tall is a moose calf?

A moose calf grows quite fast after birth. At one-month-old, the calf is already about 110cm tall. A one-year-old calf can be as tall as 200 cm on average.

What is the average size of a moose?

The average height of a mature moose is at 1.4 to 2.1m tall, at shoulder length, excluding the neck and head. On average, the height is at 2.4 to 3.1m tall when the head and entire body are included.

How big is an Alaskan moose?

The Alaskan moose is also popularly referred to as the giant moose. This animal earned itself the name ‘giant moose’ from its extremely huge size. It is the largest subspecies in North America.

Generally, males are the biggest among the Alaska moose. The male Alaskan moose has a height of 6.9 feet at shoulder length. The female Alaskan moose can grown up to 6 feet tall at shoulder length.

How strong is a moose?

Judging from their gigantic body size, moose are powerful animals. Moose tower over humans and have the strength to knock down people easily.

Weight

Moose hame immense body sizes and spend plenty of their time browsing on various vegetation.  They can consume up to 73 pounds of vegetation, and up to ten thousand calories in a single day.  Their diet contributes so much to maintain and build their immense body sizes.

How heavy is a moose?

Since moose are one of the largest animals in North America, they are also among the heaviest. The bull typically weighs more than the cow.

A mature bull can weigh up to 1500 pounds. On average, a male moose can weigh as much as 380 – 700kgs.

The cow is slightly smaller than the bull and can weigh up to 800 pounds. On average, a female moose weighs approximately 200 – 360kgs.

At birth, a moose calf weighs about 25 to 35 pounds. Afterward, they grow rapidly and add weight quickly.

How high can a moose jump?

In spite of their enormous bodies and weight, it may be surprising to know that moose are known to jump over high objects.

The moose use their long, powerful legs to jump over fences as high as 6 feet tall. A moose is generally quite tall anyway and with their long legs, this enables them to jump high.

The moose are also used to jumping for food when trying to feed on foliage from some trees and barks.

Some of these animals are about 6 feet tall at shoulder length and therefore can jump as high as 7 feet.

Diet

The geographical location and season dictate the diet of the moose.  Moose will change their diet depending on the foods that are around them. 

Moose are herbivores and browse on a large variety of terrestrial plants and fruits. They prefer to eat bark, roots, shoots of woody vegetation, and twigs.

During the summer season, these animals spend plenty of their time around water sources. This is to cool off their large bodies from the heat and to also quench their thirst. 

At this time, they tend to feed on the aquatic plants in the water sources. Since many of the terrestrial plants lack sodium, moose are attracted to aquatic vegetation due to the high sodium content. They derive this nutrient from these plants.

In winter, most of the vegetation has dried up except for those that can withstand the harsh conditions. Moose mostly feed on conifers, barks and roots of the available vegetation.

These animals have a set of powerful teeth that they use to browse on and crush their food. Along with the powerful incisors on the lower jaw, they have strong lips, gums and tongue that work in conjunction.

Moose have sensitive upper lips that work to identify fresh and hard twigs, shoots, and barks. This upper lip is also strong enough to grasp, pull and strip branches of shrubs and other foliage.

These animals have no problems reaching out for various plants when browsing. If the tree is too high, a moose will bend down the branches by the help of its strong lips and mouth. Similarly, they stand on the hind legs to reach tall vegetation, or even jump.

Food

Moose are herbivorous, and this means that they feed entirely on vegetation. They eat most vegetation, ranging from twigs, shoots, barks and leaves of plants.

Moose have to eat a lot on a daily basis to maintain their large size. On average, a moose can eat up to 70 pounds of food in just a day. To keep up the body weight, moose have to consume plenty of calories. Moose can consume as much as 9770 calories in a single day.

Moose don’t eat terrestrial plants alone, they have to feed on aquatic plants too, as these aquatic plants contain sodium. They have to feed on these plants to obtain this scarce mineral.

The season and availability of vegetation largely dictate the diet of moose and the plants they are likely to eat. During the warm seasons, they like spending much time in ponds and streams. 

At this time, they eat mainly aquatic vegetation in these water sources. Moose can feed on water lilies, horsetails, pondweed, and bladderworts.

In winter, the water is not that desirable, and it’s either too cold or frozen. Moose are forced to eat the few plants that can withstand the harsh winter conditions. These are mainly the conifers, shrubs, lichens and mosses.

The winter season is extremely harsh to the moose, and they lose quite an amount of their total body weight. They can lose as much as 30% of their weight. The weight loss is because there is minimal food during this season, and much of it has little nutritional value.

Late fall, moose spend a lot of time eating plenty of food. This is believed to be in preparation for the harsh conditions that come after that. Also, they mainly eat woody vegetation.

What is a moose favorite food?

While they can feed on many of the terrestrial vegetation, moose have a favorite food. They mostly prefer to feed on trees such as willows and aspens. These plants have a large amount of the nutrients that the moose needs to survive.

Can you eat moose?

People can eat moose meat, and it is nutritious. It is a good source of lean protein containing only 1 gram of fat in a serving of 100 grams. 

Moose meat contains less than 0.5 grams of saturated fats. It is also packed with enough proteins and amino acids to meet our requirements.

However, it is not healthy for those people who are trying to regulate their cholesterol. One serving of its meat contains about 50mg of cholesterol.

Moose meat contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that make it an excellent alternative to the usual staples such as beef and chicken. It contains iron, niacin, riboflavin, selenium and zinc.The meat is not easily found in supermarkets, and hence not many people eat it. Predators

Even with their gigantic body size, moose have predators. Most animals in the wild will not dare prey on an adult moose. However, there are a few that are up for the task. The main moose predators include wolves and bears.

In many cases, none of these animals will hunt down a moose alone. For instance, wolves will only target a lone moose when in a pack. In this way, it is easier for the wolves to overpower the larger animal. Bears are quite huge and strong. A single bear is capable of attacking and killing a fully grown moose while on its own.

The most vulnerable of the moose are the calves, and these are usually an easy target for the predators. They are small, powerless and less dangerous than their parents.

During winter, moose are weaker and slower. Their weaker state makes them easily susceptible to predation by mostly wolves and black bears. Females are mainly hunted down when pregnant.

During this period, the cows are slower, and this makes them easy prey for bears and cougars. The bulls are rarely targeted by predators, probably because of their large body sizes and antlers.

How does a moose protect itself?

The first line of defence of a moose is to flee from the enemy. They have strong long legs that contribute to their extremely fast speed in the running. A moose can run 35 miles in an hour, reducing the chances of the predators catching up to them.

The bulls have antlers that they can use to defend themselves from predators such as wolves and bears. Moose are bold and will fight the enemy to the very end. Their antlers are strong enough to pierce through the skin of the predators and leave them fatally injured.

The cows have to protect both themselves and their calves from any impending danger. While they lack the antlers, they have a powerful set of hooves. A cow uses her hooves to kick the enemy. The hind legs are strong enough to produce a powerful kick that can severely injure the enemy. The hooves are also sharp.

Calves are incapable of protecting themselves from predation. However, the mother is always nearby to protect her young one. Even with their protection, calves are the main victims of predators.

If you would like further information on moose, I have compiled 101 facts for you. You can find the article here.

Swimming

The moose is a great swimmer despite its large body size. The moose calves are not left behind and learn soon after birth.

A couple of days after birth, the young can get into the water and swim along with the elder moose. These creatures have such immense bodies that they need to stay in water sources to cool off when it’s hot.

Moose can swim continuously for approximately 20km at a speed of about 9km/h. Their endurance enables them to look for aquatic plants to feed on while in the water.

Can a moose dive underwater?

Aside from being skilful swimmers, moose can dive underwater. They can dive underwater for as far as 6 meters deep.

Their swimming is aided by their typically large nostrils that are equipped with valves. The valves close when the moose goes underwater, preventing water from getting into their lungs.

How long can a moose hold its breath?

As per all other mammals, the moose cannot breathe underwater but must hold its breath.  A moose can hold its breath underwater for up to 1 minute.

Reproduction

Moose mate once in a year, occurring from September to October. The males, otherwise referred to as bulls, are polygamous.  This means that given the opportunity, they will mate with more than one female.

During mating time, both males and females call out for each other using vocalizations.

Why does a moose rut?

Rutting is a natural phenomenon in the lives of moose, in order for them to mate once each year. The bulls fight each other to earn the right to mate with a female. The largest and most dominant bulls normallywin the fight. They are also the ones that mate with the most females.

A couple of behaviors emerge during the breeding season. The animals attract each other’s attention by making strange sounds. The cows have the capacity of producing the loudest sound that can be heard, even from miles away. They make loud wavering moans. On the other hand, bulls produce grunting noises.

Aside from producing sounds, males make use of scent to get the attention of the females. A bull will first of all dig a pit into the ground. The pit is not large but is small and shallow.

The bull then urinates into the pit and splashes the mixture all over its antlers and the neck region. They will then roll around in it to make the scent stronger.

The cow that comes into the first contact with the contents in the pit earn a right to mate with the bull. The bull identifies his mating partner by that particular scent.

Do moose mate for life?

Bulls and cows do not become sexually active at the same age. A bull is ready for mating only after reaching the age of five. On the other hand, cows reach sexual maturity earlier. A cow is ready to mate as early as the age of one and a half years.

Moose mate every year for the rest of their lifetime.

How long is a moose pregnant?

The female moose or cow has a gestation period of eight months. By the time the cow is giving birth, it’s already spring or the beginning of summer.

A cow can only give birth to one calf at a time or in some instances, two calves. A newborn moose calf weighs in the region of 30 pounds.

Calves adapt to their new environment fast, and they can walk within a day. After only five days, the young moose can run very fast.

The female moose will stay with her young one until the calf is about one year old, usually until the next mating season.

Do moose give birth every year?

Rutting in moose occurs every year, and during this season the cow can get pregnant. The female is only ready to mate again after the young one is fully matured. Due to this, the females only give birth every two years.

Societal structure

Moose are perceived as diurnal animals, meaning that they are mostly active during the day. They live their lives in solitary with each searching for food on its own. Unless it’s during the breeding season, moose will not be seen gathered in groups.

The mating season brings together these animals, and you can spot them around the same area. The bulls are polygamous and will chase after several cows. The largest bull in the crowd is most likely to be at an advantage of getting receptive cows.

Aggression

Moose are calm creatures and will rarely attack a human unless provoked to do so. They are also very shy and will keep their distance from humans.

Moose do not run away when there are people around as is the case with deer. Moose will stand and watch you, and this makes people comfortable and less fearful of them.

To keep out of trouble, avoid getting too close to a moose whether a bull, cow or calf. Similarly, do not try to feed or play with these animals. They are impulsive, and it is hard to tell their next move.

Why are moose dangerous to humans?

The North American moose is one of the largest animals with immense weight. Their weight makes them potentially dangerous to humans. The calmness of the moose can fool you into thinking that you can get close to them. Moosecan charge at you any time, especially when they feels disturbed.

The bull can use it antlers to attack you. If this happens, there is a high chance you will be fatally injured or killed. Moose are animals with huge body size, and this means that if it hurts you, then the impact is more significant.

The cows lacks horns, but will use their legs and  hooves to kick.  Unlike horses, moose can kick their legs in any direction.

The moose, with its immense weight are also capable of trampling, which with their immense weight can cause serious damage.

The worst mistake that you can ever make is getting too close to a moose. In case the animal charges at you, you will not have enough time to get to a safe place.  A moose is quite an agile animal despite its size and can run as fast as 35 miles in an hour. If you are not at a safe distance, there is no way you can outrun this animal.

Why are moose so aggressive?

A moose rarely becomes aggressive for nothing. In many instances, these animals will get violent only when provoked or harassed. When you find a moose lying down somewhere, it’s because the creature is resting.

Getting too close or chasing the animal away will be perceived as a disturbance. The moose may leave or get agitated and charge at you.

A cow may get violent when humans approach her calf. The female is protective of her offspring and will assume humans to be a threat going near her calf.  This commonly occurrs during the late spring and summer months when the cows have just given birth.

Avoid approaching a calf even if it’s alone. Mothers rarely leave their calves for long, and if they perceive you as a threat they will not think twice about attacking you.

The mating season occurs during fall in September and October. During this time, the bull is exceptionally hostile and may charge at any human being who dares disturb him. The bulls are territorial at this point and will promptly go after anyone who happens to be in their territory.

Moose are also highly aggressive during winter. Aside from the frigid temperatures, other problems they face is limited food. 

Moose also find it harder and more difficult to walk in the snow. These harsh conditions tend to make them easily agitated. They are not only hungry but also exhausted from the walking whilst in search of food.

How can I tell from body language that a moose might become aggressive?

Moose are very dangerous animals. It is safer for you to avoid any kind of confrontation with them. Judging from body language, you can tell the animal is agitated and about to become violent.

When near a moose and you notice the hairs on the hump are raised, and the ears are back, then it is time for you to retreat to a safer distance.

The animal can give you a warning sign by merely staring at you. Do not just stand there if this happens.

Look out for when it licks lips. Chances are the moose is quickly running out of patience and might attack you.

On another occasion, be cautious when it approaches you and most notably with the head lowered. Many people might mistake this for friendliness on the part of the animal.

This is however, a sign that they may charge.  Remember that the moose is an impulsive creature, and you can never be too sure of their next move.

Other signs to watch out for include urinating, showing the whites of eyes and whipping the head back. Whenever you sense danger, back off and find a safe place to hide whether it’s behind a tree, building or even a car. 

Do moose bite humans?

Moose do bite humans. Their hooves and antlers are not the only lines of defence when they feel threatened. They can use their teeth too which can rip through flesh.

Collision with vehicles

Areas with large moose population usually have signs and warnings on the road for drivers and cyclists. This is for a good cause because accidents involving moose can be fatal.

Moose spend most of their time eating and will move from one side of the road to the next in search of foliage. They can appear on the road at any time and when you least expect it. It is always advisable to drive at a slow speed when in moose prone regions and when you see signs.

The issue of road accidents involving moose happens mainly in North America. A moose is quite a large animal, and hitting it with your vehicle can send its entire body crashing through your windshield or roof.

Stay very alert when driving through roads in moose prone regions. This can significantly reduce the chances of a collision with the animal.

Moose are most active during sunrise and sunset. They move about searching for food and a new habitat. This is when many of the collisions with vehicles are reported, probably because drivers do not easily spot them at this time.

What to do if there is a moose in the road?

Drive at a slower speed when in areas that have a high population of moose. When driving at a slow speed, there is an excellent chance that you will avoid a collision. You can stop just in time if moose suddenly appears on the road.

When you spot a moose close to the road or in the middle of it, slow down and allow it to pass. Ensure that there are no other moose close by.

If you are driving at night, ensure that the headlights are on. In this way, you can easily spot the animals even from miles away. When you spot a moose standing in the road, simply stop and wait for a while. In most cases, it will just go away.

There are times the animal will stand still and refuse to move away from the road. If this is the case, you will have to flash the headlights and honk the car horn. This is bound to startle it and the animal will clear the way.

If you find a moose on the road, do not swerve the car to avoid it. The best thing to do is to stop and wait. Only start to drive again after you are entirely sure that the moose and the rest of its group are gone. 

You cannot predict the next move this animal will make, which is swerving is not advisable. The animal may decide to go the same side you are trying to move the car.

What to do if a collision is inevitable?

In some instances, you might not be able to avoid a collision. This can happen if you are driving at high speed and cannot stop in time. A moose can also appear out of nowhere and get into the road. You have to know how to handle this situation.

The most prudent thing to do at this point is to try and slow down. This will reduce the impact after you have collided with the moose. Avoid swerving at all costs as it is hazardous. If you attempt to do this, chances are you will go off the lane and collide with other oncoming cars.

Pets  

Research carried out on the taming of moose is inconclusive. For this reason, it is not known if they are suitable for domestication.  There is a moose domestication program at Pechore-llych nature reserve that was started in 1949.

The program involves selective breeding of moose based on behavior. This gives some insights that moose can be tamed. However, it does not mean you can keep a moose as a pet. 

Can you keep a moose as a pet?

There are a couple of reasons why it would be very difficult to keep a moose as a pet. While it is more or less similar to a horse or cow, this animal cannot be domesticated. 

The first reason that takes them off the list of domesticated animals is their complicated diet. Moose prefer to feed on woody vegetation, and this can be problematic. These plants cannot feed them in seclusion; they have to be set free to browse on a variety of plants.

Unlike other animals in the ruminant family, moose cannot feed on hay. The reason for this is that they cannot digest it. If you happened to feed moose hay, the ultimate result would be death. 

Keeping this animal as a pet would be extremely difficult and expensive. You would need a large forested area to sustain its survival. Remember, moose need to feed on at least 60kgs of vegetation daily.

Secondly, these creatures are extremely dangerous. Starting from their immense body sizes, they are not the kind of animals you will want to keep around your home. The male moose, also known as a bull is a ticking time bomb, especially during the mating season. They become very aggressive during this period.

The bulls also have enormous horns and sharp hooves. With his large body size and enormous horns, this animal is capable of knocking down a fence. A single kick is enough to kill you or leave you fatally injured.

The female moose is a bit smaller and less violent than males. You still cannot predict the behavior of a moose, whether male or female, however.  The unpredictability is why people keep their distance from these creatures. They are not the kind of animal to have as a pet.

Can you ride a moose?

There is a very famous picture of Teddy Roosevelt riding through a river on a moose.  Due to this a lot of people believe that moose can be ridden like we ride horses and camels.  

The photo of Teddy Roosevelt was deemed to be fake in 2013.  The original photo was of Teddy Roosevelt was taken whilst riding on a horse.  This was then cut out by a publishing company who stuck the top half of the President on top of another photo, the moose in the river.

Attempting to ride a moose is dangerous, and you may end up getting killed. Moose are shy and will not take it kindly if a human got on their back. The animal will probably throw you on the ground and trample you. Riding a moose is not something to try.

I hope you have learned something about these great creatures.  As one of the largest mammals in North America, they are also an animal that almost everyone has heard of.  When you next have the privilege of seeing a moose in the wild, then hopefully you will remember some of what makes these beautiful creatures so special.

If you would like further information on moose, I have compiled 101 facts for you. You can find the article here.

 

Bryan Harding

Bryan has spent his whole life around animals. While loving all animals, Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Not only does Bryan share his knowledge and experience with our readers, but he also serves as owner, editor, and publisher of North American Mammals.

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