A huge cow moose has been spotted in Denali National Park, Alaska, bearing the scars from a ferocious bear attack that claimed the life of her young calf.
In a video shot by Jeff in Alaska and shared on the aptly named Instagram account natureismetal, the moose can be seen quietly grazing from a tree, with a quad bike in the foreground demonstrating her sheer size. It's not clear exactly when the video was shot, but the lush vegetation and lack of snow suggests it was during the summer months.
The attack that left her flanks deeply scarred took place in the back yard of a property near the park, which is a common calving ground for moose.
A photo posted by on
The National Park Service (NPS) explains that cow moose can weigh between 700lb and 1,100lb, while bulls are typically between 900lb and 1,400lb. They have extremely long legs, and stand between 5' and 6'6" at the shoulder.
They breed in late September and early October (a period known as the rut), and young are born in late May and early June. Like baby bison, elk are born with a reddish-brown coat that darkens with age.
Rangers at Denali National Park and Preserve warn visitors to be particularly careful around moose during the calving season in early summer. In 2015, for example, a particularly defensive cow moose made herself at home at a campground, charging and injuring at least three people who approached too close.
"Cow moose are good moms but not always the best neighbors if you get too close," says wildlife biologist Pat Owen. She recommends always using a telephoto lens to take photos, and "no selfies!"
You should stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from moose at all times, and never deliberately approach one. Moose generally prefer to flee a close encounter, but if they choose to stand and fight, you could be seriously hurt.
The NPS warns visitors to be particularly careful if they are out walking and see a calf without its mother. If you get between the two, the cow may see you as a threat and attack. The calves themselves can also be dangerous, weighing between 200lb and 400lb in their first winter.
For more advice, see our guides what to do if you see a moose while hiking and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.