Moose: What You Should Know

The moose is a mammal. He belongs to the deer family. It cannot be tamed as a pet or kept in a herd. The moose lives in the far north of Europe and Asia. The same species also live in Canada and in Alaska. However, the elk does not always advance as far north as the reindeer.

In terms of size and weight, the moose resembles a horse. However, there are quite a few differences depending on the subspecies and the area in which the elk live. The fur consists of long hairs. It is reddish brown to blackish brown, and also gray to almost white on the legs. In spring, moose shed their thick winter fur.

The chest is very large. Moose have particularly strong muscles on their shoulders. The spine is also stronger at the neck to allow the males to carry their heavy antlers. It can be up to two meters wide, the length of a normal bed. Females do not wear antlers.

How do moose live?

Moose are loners, so each animal is usually on its own. They prefer to eat nutritious plants, for example, the tips of young shoots on trees and leaves. Moose are the only deer that also eat aquatic plants. Moose stay in the same place until they eat everything, then move on.

When they want to mate, the males meet first. They engage in easy fights to see who is stronger than the other. Only later, when a top dog has gathered his females around him, do fierce fights ensue. Namely, when a strange male disputes the whole harem of the top dog.

The gestation period of a moose cow is about eight months. She usually carries a single cub. Twins happen every now and then. The mother elk is accompanied by her last cub until the baby is born, after which she scares it away. A few minutes after birth, the baby gets up and follows its mother. In the beginning, it drinks about one and a half liters of milk from its mother every day, later it is three liters a day. A young animal is sexually mature at about one and a half years, so it can then make young of its own. In the wild, a moose lives to be about 15 years old.

In the beginning, the young moose cannot run away from an enemy. The mother, therefore, defends it with powerful hoof kicks. Natural enemies of moose are wolves, lynx, bears, and the wolverine, a special marten. In Alaska, the puma also hunts moose, in Siberia, it is the Siberian tiger. Moose sometimes carry parasites such as ticks or mites. It can even kill her. However, the moose is not endangered.

How does man live with the moose?

Humans have been hunting moose since the Stone Age. The meat is digestible. The fur can be used to sew clothes or tents. Tools can be made from antlers and bones. As a result, Moses was wiped out in Germany in the Middle Ages. Today there are mooses in Poland, some of which migrate to Germany from time to time.

In Alaska, Finland, and Sweden, several thousand moose are killed by cars every year. This is why the “moose test” is well-known: A car suddenly has to make a turn on a test track as if a moose were standing there. Then the experts can see whether the car is skidding or even tipping over.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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