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Why are moose more dangerous than bears in Alaska?


When Moose Attack
Mother moose are highly protective of their calves.
Mother moose are highly protective of their calves.
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The number of moose attacks spikes in September and October during mating season and the early spring when mothers are protecting their young calves. However, moose often do not confront people unless they are provoked. For that reason, it's important to not throw anything at moose and keep any dogs away from them. Moose especially dislike dogs because they run up and bark at them.

As mentioned earlier, feeding a moose can also make them more dangerous. When their stomach starts talking, and they instinctually return to a place where they were once given food, they may attack if the food isn't there again. To lower the chance of food-related attacks, Alaska has made moose feeding a crime carrying a $110 fine.

Since the Alaskan moose population can exceed 120,000, you may run across one accidentally at a campsite, on a trail or even in your own backyard. Imagine a 1,500-pound (680-kilogram) brown mass galloping toward you as fast as an overgrown rabbit. Antlers six feet (1.8 meters) from end to end splay outward like a pair of bizarre antennae. When you see a bull, or male moose, charging at you, there's only one thing to do -- turn and run to avoid getting trampled.

Although moose can outrun humans at their top speeds, many times, they won't chase you far if you run away from them. If you don't get away fast enough, and a moose knocks you down, don't struggle. Curl into the fetal position and cover your head with your arms. Trying to move or beat it off will only cause the moose to continue kicking and stomping you.

If you see one that isn't approaching, your best bet is to avoid it and allow it to move out of your way. However, if you notice its hairs raised, head down and ears back, that's your cue to hightail it in the opposite direction. And when a moose licks its lips, that doesn't mean it finds you attractive. That's your signal to make tracks.