Find out what you don’t know-Episode 16 Living with the locals: The Moose
A moose is an ungulates (un-gu-lat-us) which is a term to describe plant eating mammals with hooves! Cool eh? The name moose came from native tongue meaning “the eater of twigs” Moose are part of the deer family and are one of the largest land mammals in North America.
When you picture a moose you usually would see in your mind a male moose with huge, elaborate antlers that can easily measure up to 10 feet across. Male moose will shed their antlers after the rut or mating season. Moose breed once yearly in September and October. Rival males compete for the emails attention using the huge antlers for battle.
Did you know that moose sweat! This is why moose are found in cooler regions as they are prone to overheat. They will seek shade and water to cool down when they get too hot. Sounds a lot like cottagers!
Moose spend most of the day eating. I was like this during the lockdown. Moose eat twigs, bark, roots, and the shoots of woody plants. When it is wam moose love water plants. Moose prefer forested areas however the odd time you will find a moose trot downtown like they own the joint as this happened recently in Bobcaygeon. Moose are powerful swimmers so don’t be surprised to see them crossing a bay in your lake. Moose generally stay in one area up 35 to 65 km. They tend to be solitary animals.
Moose have poor sight, and can not generally tell the difference between a fence post and a human standing still at 15 meters away. That said, if you make a noise or the wind is blowing in the moose’s direction they will know you are there as theirs senses of hearing and smell are excellent. Moose can actually rotate their ears 180 degrees to get a better hear on what is going on.
Moose will usually avoid people and will not investigate or charge unless provoked. Moose are generally not a nuisance to humans and rarely damage gardens or shrubs. Predators to moose are wolves, humans and black bears. Up to half of the calf population will fall to predators during their first year. That is why momma moose will aggressively defend their young. Parasites and diseases along with car collisions also take their fair share of moose.
Average age of a moose is 5 to 12 years and the oldest moose on record was 22 years of age!