Are these moose praying at a cemetery grave site?
While driving down a remote road outside Delta Junction, Alaska, this person happened upon two moose who appeared to be praying at a cemetery. It was a warm spring day and the moose were actually down on their front legs in the cemetery, munching on new spring grass. Moose are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants and not other animals. It gets down to -40F below zero and colder in this part of Alaska in winter. Moose cows (or mamma moose) and their calves struggle to find food during the harsh winters. During the long, cold winter months, when everything green disappears, moose will dig in snow for frozen grasses and usually end up eating bark off trees and saplings, just to stay alive.
In spring, when fresh grasses and leaves on trees appear, you can often find moose cows and calves enjoying the banquet. An adult cow moose can weigh about 800 lbs, so you can imagine it would take a lot to keep her going during the winter months. That is why they eat almost constantly during the short spring and summer months, so that they fatten up before winter again. Fresh green leaves are a delicacy!
Moose calves are typically born in Spring, and stay with their mother for up to 2 years. This calf (left) is not a newborn and obviously was born the previous Spring. His mamma will probably encourage him to be on his own this fall, but may tolerate him up until the next spring, depending on whether or not she becomes pregnant again. Moose will sometimes kneel down like this in order to get closer to very short grasses. Undoubtedly, the calf has learned this from mamma. This quiet little cemetery, with it's fenced in area, provided a safe respite for cow and calf. They seemed totally unconcerned about this person's presence as they munched away on the greens. No doubt they were praying, thankful for the bounty of fresh food after a long hard winter!