Proud-Looking Moose Walks Down Street
"They call me 'Mr. Moose', biggest deer in North America! Who owns the median strip? Me!"
The majestic moose, monarch of the north. This fellow is struttin’ his stuff, taking cat calls form the two-leggers driving by. Anybody who has ever seen a moose on the highway can relate to this scene. Your first thought is, "Whoa! Moose alert!"
You have to stop if it's in your immediate path, and providing the traffic is light. One must at least slow down and cautiously circumnavigate the behemoth. A run-in with an adult moose can be fatal.
It's interesting that the moose deliberately walks the straight and narrow median, giving us some insight into its perceptive abilities. Is it merely the comfortable grass which guides its senses? Or does the moose have the intelligence to understand that the dangerous boxes that move on either side of it will confine themselves to their own paths? Also of interest is its calm demeanor, as if it has been conditioned to safely negotiate the human domain, as well as that of nature.
This fellow is quite a handsome specimen, too. He looks to be in excellent condition. He also provided a wonderful opportunity for father and daughter to bond over nature at its most spectacular. Weighing up to 1,800 pounds, the moose is North America’s second largest land animal. Only the wood bison, tipping in at 2,000 pounds, is bigger. To give one a perspective on scale, the average horse stands about five feet tall. But the moose stands about six and a half to seven feet tall. Its antlers can spread up to five feet wide (but have been known to be over six feet wide). A cow moose doesn’t usually have antlers, and to see one of those on the highway you might at first mistake it for a giant draft horse. Of course, as you approach the beast its differences from a horse come into view.
Fatalities by hitting a moose in your car are very low, and moose related accidents in Alaska are generally low. Maine keeps records of its moose related traffic accidents, reporting that about one motorist per year is killed by moose run-ins. Don’t let the fear of hitting a moose keep you off the roads in Alaska, or anywhere else where moose are abundant. For most people seeing a moose from the relative safety of your car is a lifetime memory. Try to drive cautiously and defensively, and never faster than your ability to stop when a moose suddenly trots out in the road ahead of you.
One can never know what you will get to see in a natural setting, so have your camera ready to turn on, although it might be prudent to let your passenger, even if that person is a child, do the videography for you. Therein lies another bonding opportunity, teaching your child to use a phone camera. Get them comfortable with turning on the equipment on a moment’s notice, and give them the latitude to use their own artistic style. Every drive to and from a friend’s house or school event will have that silver lining of anticipation that you will get to see a spectacle worthy of uploading.