Moose encounters are quite common in Alaska. Even if you are in the various cities of Alaska it is necessary to watch out for the common types of wildlife. Moose can be seen in Alaska strolling down city streets. It is commonly known that more people are injured from encountering a moose than those that encounter a bear. Give the moose plenty of room and don’t attempt to pet one. As with all wild animals, a mother with her young is dangerous.
Moose are not perturbed by city life. The moose population of Alaska is vast. They are seen commonly on the streets, in the neighborhoods, and along the by-ways. Familiarizing yourself with safety precautions is a must if you plan to visit the “last frontier”. If you spot one while driving down and road, and you see that the moose is going to venture out in the road, be sure to slow down and yield to the beast. Moose are very tall and weigh hundreds of pounds. Few motorists win in an accident with a moose.
Moose are not naturally aggressive. However, under certain conditions they are a formidable foe. Anytime you see a moose never attempt to pet it. They don’t take kindly to anyone invading their space. Moose that are surprised are more likely to charge. If you’re hiking and surprise a moose and the moose charges try to put something between you and the moose. Like a horse, they can kick and stomp. It’s harder for the moose to land a kick if you have something between you and the moose. If you surprise a moose and it doesn’t charge, back away slowly without turning your back on the moose.
The moose has several signs when he feels threatened and is angry. Like a dog, the hair on the back of the neck will stand up. Similar to a horse, he tends to lay his ears back. Pay attention to any kind of behavior that signifies the moose is angry and as always have respect for the moose. They are in their element and you will be at a disadvantage in an aggressive encounter.
The barking of dogs seems to anger the moose. It is not uncommon for a moose to become aggressive when encountering barking, jumping dogs. Keep your dogs leashed when walking. If your dog does engage the moose, stay out of it. The fury of the moose could be transferred to you should you try to rescue the dog. It is good prevention to keep your dogs leashed.
Never try to get close to a mother moose with her calves at her side. These babies are very cute and have huge eyes. It is tempting to want to get close to pet one or to get a great picture. Do not try it!!! Like any wild animal, the moose is very protective of her young. She will protect her young from intruders in very aggressive ways. If she starts to nudge her young and lead them in another direction, don’t try to deter them. This will only anger the mother moose. Experience also has proved that the mother moose with her young is disturbed by the flash of a camera. If you are taking pictures use your zoom feature and turn your flash off. This way everyone is happy. You will get the shot and the mother moose and her young will not become agitated.
Wildlife encounters in the “last frontier” are common and quite enjoyable. Remember to yield to the animals and don’t try to approach them. Respect the mother moose with her young and watch for the moose along the roadways. Following these simple tips can ensure an enjoyable experience when bumping into the most common wildlife in Alaska.