Learn your moose manners

Large ungulates out and about


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Thanks in large part to last winter’s heavy snowfall, roughly 500 moose were killed by motorists last winter between Anchorage and the Mat-Su. As the winter progresses, experts say there are several ways to avoid costly collisions with the largest member of the deer family.

According to the Alaska Highway Traffic Safety Office, Alaska motorists typically hit and kill between 700-1,000 moose each year. The office advises motorists take extreme caution when driving in winter as moose “nonchalantly cross our roads and highways,” according to the office.

Moose can also be dangerous to pedestrians and pets. Last spring, an ornery cow moose stomped an Eagle River girl, resulting in a trip to the hospital. To avoid dangerous confrontations, the state offeres several tips, including:

— Never feed a moose.

— Give moose at least 50 feet. If it doesn’t yield as you approach, give it the trail.

— If a moose lays its ears back or its hackles rise, it’s angry or afraid and may charge.

— Moose kick with their front as well as hind feet so it’s suggested people not confront them directly.

— Don’t corner moose into fences or houses.

— If a moose charges, there are few options available, but it has been suggested by many others to simply get behind a tree. A theory stands that you can run around the trunk faster than the gangly moose.

— Never get between a cow and her calf.

 

Source: Alaska Highway Traffic Safety Office

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