Canadian motorists are being told to not let moose lick their cars
It's become a very real issue in some parts of Canada!
If you thought that headline was some kind of a joke, I honestly wouldn't blame you. It's is an absolutely real thing that's happening though! Motorists in Jasper, Alberta came across a road sign telling them not to let moose lick their cars. It bemused them so much that some of them started posting images and videos of these signs to social media. A lot of social media users started thinking that it was some kind of elaborate joke, something that caused Snopes to step in to confirm that the signs were indeed real and there is a very real problem concerning allowing moose to lick your vehicles!
According to a statement from Jasper National Park's spokesman Steve Young when he spoke about the issue to Fitzhugh, the moose problem "started as an occasional issue a few years ago and now is too common." Moose population in the area has been growing in recent years due to a decline in the wolf population and a result of that is an increase in the interactions between people and moose. With these increased interactions between moose and man comes more and more people stopping by to feed the moose (this is something that's illegal in national park areas with a fine of up to $25,000, but I guess some people just won't listen to that). This makes the moose come closer to the roads and starts to cause a lot of dangers of its own, such as potential collisions with cars.
A collision with a moose is something you absolutely don't want to have if you're in a car. Hitting a moose is up to 13 times more deadly than hitting a deer, something which this article explains very well with some harrowing imagery of a police car that had been ravaged by a moose collision. When a car hits a moose, it's likely to take the animal out legs first due to the weight and shoulder height of the animal. This means that the enormously heavy body of the moose goes straight onto the roof or into the windscreen, right where you as the occupants of the car are. Basically, you're incredibly likely to suffer a serious injury or even death. Yikes.
As for why the moose lick the cars? It's down to their strange love of the taste of road salt. Why moose absolutely love the salt is beyond me, but it has drawn them into certain areas which are not only starting to become accident blackspots, but the salt is also starting to get into the local ecosystems and disrupt them. Whilst road salt can be incredibly beneficial for keeping roads open, it can cause actual danger to wildlife and even ourselves via the moose problem. The bad news just keeps on stacking up...
So, if you're out and about in Jasper, Alberta this winter, please whatever you do stay away from the moose. You'll thank yourself for it and the moose would probably thank you too, if it could.