Only in Canada: Wildlife warning for aggressive car-licking moose. Yes, a moose licking cars

Written by on December 15, 2016 in Critters vs Humans vs Critters - No comments

As far as safety bulletins go, this one couldn’t be more Canadian.

Alberta Parks issued a wildlife warning for an ornery moose with a penchant for licking salt from cars in the Rocky Mountain playground of Kananaskis Country.

“Please be aware of a moose warning in the Chester Lake and Burstall Pass parking lots and the trails near the lots,” Alberta Parks issued this week. “The moose has been very aggressive in approaching vehicles in parking lots to lick the salt from the sides of vehicles.”

A moose has been accosting cars in that area for some time now, according to locals.

Kate Seel even posted this photo from Saturday at Chester Lake, just off the Smith-Dorrien Spray Trail access road.

“At that time she moved off when to many people came back from their ski,” Seel posted to the Alberta Parks’ Facebook page.

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A moose and calf stalking salty cars in Kananaskis Country Saturday. Kate Seel/Alberta Parks/Facebook

 

And, Elained Kennedy posted this: “Little baby moose is learning from the best

Mother moose teaching her calf the art of the car wash. Elaine Kennedy/Alberta Parks/Facebook

Mother moose teaching her calf the art of the car wash. Elaine Kennedy/Alberta Parks/Facebook

These wildlife encounters have prompted officials to advise backcountry enthusiasts to honk their horns or sound their car alarm to get the hangry moose to back off.

And while this seems obvious, there’s also this advice: “Do not attempt to push the moose away from your vehicle while on foot.”

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We’ve all seen wildlife lick road salt of the asphalt, but I couldn’t help but tweet this uniquely Canadian problem. Which it turns out, isn’t all that unusual.

That’s when people started tweeting me pictures of their critter-licking-car encounters.

Like this one from Mark Jale, who took this image in 2010 in the very Chester Lake parking lot that officials are now warning about now.

“Not my vehicle,” he explains. “But it had already cleaned off my truck before we got there.”

And, then there are these snaps of another salt-hungry moose, just down the road in K-country, taken by Tom Graham outside his home.

And moose aren’t the only culprits. All kinds of mountain critters crave road salt.

Karen Ung tweeted this photo of big horn sheep stopping traffic in Banff National Park on Lake Minnewanka Drive.

“The sheep were licking a different car, then approached the one in the photo (as it was still moving!),” she explains. “Fortunately the driver slowed down and let them wash the car.”

And, a search of YouTube will quickly turn up gobs of moose-licking-car videos.

I triple dog dare you not to fall down that rabbit hole. Which of course got many of us wondering. Don’t their tongues get stuck to the metal like A Christmas Story?

The licky-moose story captured the imagination of so many, Alberta Parks was trending on Twitter. 


Main photo Mark Jale/@2turnlarry/Twitter

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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