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Moose Attacks

Anchorage, Alaska is having a problem with moose, and their trash cans are starting to become targets of moose. The Fish and Game department there just reported that moose going through trash cans looking for old food has increased in the last 15 years. The most terrible months for moose going after trashcans are March and April because the food supply from the winter starts to lessen, and moose trounce on into the city in big numbers.

So, what’s the problem with a little grazing on garbage? Don’t moose deserve a chance to eat a little extra food too? After all, they’re hungry, and their winter food supply is running out. Just like humans do, moose get really angry when they get hungry, and if there isn’t any leftover food around when they’re out hunting, then they’re going to attack someone to take out their anger.

Even though moose aren’t more dangerous than bears are, in the context of their behavior, they exert a bigger threat of hurting you because of the large numbers of their population. There are three times as many moose as bears in Alaska, and they wound five to ten people in the state each year. That’s more than black bear attacks and grizzly bear attacks combined.

Even though there are a high number of incidences, they aren’tmoose-attacks naturally aggressive. Moose are the biggest species of deer, and the Alaskan moose are the biggest. Their huge size belies their basically relaxed attitude. Moose eat tree bark and plants, and they eat grasses, birches, and willows, and they’re herbivores. During the winter, moose can’t get enough of these amazing foods, and the people in Anchorage see the moose population go up to about 1,000 in the city.

So when does the moose begin to bully people? Learn more about moose and what makes them be aggressive, and how you should respond to them too.

When Do Moose Attack?

The rate of moose attacks goes way up in October and September because that’s when moose mate, and in the early part of the Spring when the mothers are looking after their little calves. Moose won’t really attack people unless they’re confronted. It’s critical that you don’t toss something at the moose, and that you keep all your dogs cordoned away from moose. Moose really hate dogs because dogs tend to run up on them and bark.

As mentioned before, if you feed a moose, it can increase their threat. If their stomach begins growling again, then they’ll go back to the site where they got food before, and they could attack you if you don’t give them food again. To decrease the rate of food-related assaults, Alaska has outlawed moose feeding, and it’s a $110 penalty.

Because the moose population in Alaska can grow over 120,000, you could see one at a campsite, in your very backyard, or on a trail. A moose weights 1,500 pounds, and it is a gigantic brown mass that gallops right at you just like a rabbit would. The antlers are six feet all the way across, and they jut out like some weird antennae. If you observe a bull moose charging toward you, there’s only one smart thing to do, and that’s doing an about-face, running, and stop from getting trampled.

Even though moose are faster than humans when they reach their highest speeds, most moose won’t chase after you if you start running. If you don’t run away quickly enough, and a moose tramples you down, then don’t try to resist. Get into a fetal position and put your arms over your head tightly. If you try to get away or fight it off, then the moose will just keep stomping and kicking you.

If you see a moose that isn’t advancing, your optimal choice is to get away from it and let it move on. Although, if you see that its hairs are raised, its head is down, and its ears are back, then it’s a good sign that you should run in the other direction. If a moose starts licking its lips, it doesn’t mean it thinks you’re attractive. That’s your cue to turn around and run.

Moose on the Roads

However, you may have to come face-to-face with a moose in Alaska, and you have to remember that most moose-related damage happens on the roads. Alaskan roads and highways see their fair share of moose. There are about ten big injuries and a couple of fatalities ( one in Bethal) Alaska on the roadways each year. In ten years, there were 17 people that died from car crashes related to the moose.

These accidents occur even though there are lots of attempts to keep moose off the roads. There are high traffic areas on highways, for example, that big wire fences put up, and there are moose underpasses underneath the roads so that the moose can travel freely, and there are moose gates that go one-way so that there will be moose-free roads. Passengers and drivers aren’t the only ones that suffer from these situations. There are more than 100 moose each year that die in Anchorage alone.

This problem is not just in Alaska though. Car crashes happen from all sorts of deer species, and there are about 1.5 million accidents each year in the U.S. If the driver has awareness, if they follow traffic laws, and if they use high-beam headlights, then they will cut down on their chances of getting into a moose crash.