Missus Moose on the Loose
Mama Moose Delivers Baby in the City
I have seen possums and raccoons foraging through garbage cans in the middle of a city (South Miami, Florida). And I once saw a bear awkwardly jump a fence to investigate the remnants of an outdoor picnic dinner in a residential area (Ketchikan, Alaska). But until now I never saw a mother moose give birth to her baby right in front of a home in a small downtown neighborhood in Naubinway, Michigan at 5:30 in the morning.
Take a look at these photos of a newborn baby moose and see this moose miracle for yourself:
Some moose facts:
Moose are herbivorous mammals with a life span of 15 to 20 years. They are the largest of all the deer species. Males weight 850 to 1,580 pounds, and females, 600 to 800 pounds. Males are easily recognizable by their huge antlers, which can spread 6 feet from end to end. Moose have long faces and muzzles that dangle over their chins. A flap of skin known as a bell sways beneath its throat.
Moose are so tall – 6 foot and over – that they prefer to browse higher grasses and shrubs because lowering their heads to the ground can be difficult. In winter they eat shrubs and pine cones, but they also scrape snow with their large hooves to clear areas for browsing on mosses and lichens.
In summer, food is more plentiful in the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. When the ice melts, moose are often seen in lakes, rivers, or wetlands, feeding on aquatic plants both at and below the surface.They are comfortable in the water and, despite their huge size, are good swimmers.
Moose are also nimble on land and can run up to 35 miles an hour over short distances, and trot steadily at 20 miles an hour. Males, called bulls, bellow loudly to attract mates each September and October. The usually solitary bulls may come together at this time to battle with their antlers for mating supremacy. After mating, males and females go their separate ways until the following year. Though they may occasionally feed in the same grounds, they tend to ignore each other.
Females give birth to one or two calves in the spring - each weighing about 30 pounds. These calves grow quickly and can outrun a person by the time they are just five days old. Young moose stay with their mothers until the following mating season.
One thing puzzles me. Why do we say the plural for moose is moose when the plural for goose is geese?
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2010, 2012. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"