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Canadian Officials Warn Against Letting Moose Lick Your Car

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Wildlife management officials want to make one thing very clear to Canadian drivers — don’t let the moose lick your car. But why would the antlered animals want to turn your vehicle into a meal on wheels? Well, when winter weather arrives, so does road salt. The salty backsplash on your car is tempting to moose since minerals are essential for their health and antler growth. But here’s a look at why you shouldn’t allow them to partake.

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Reasons to keep moose away from your car

Jasper National Park spokesman Steve Young described moose as “obsessed with salt” in an interview with CNN. He further explained that the local moose population typically gets its salt from the nearby salt lakes; however, roads and vehicles provide a more convenient source.

While Jasper National Park visitors may be charmed by the sight of a moose that appears to be smooching their SUV, allowing them to lick vehicles puts both humans and themselves in danger. First, it encourages the animals to get comfortable with approaching vehicles and people. When this occurs, people are more likely to be harmed if the animals feel threatened and lash out. Moreover, a misplaced sense of comfort around cars can lead to the animals being tempted into roadways by the promise of a salty snack.

“Moose and cars are not a good mix. If you hit the moose with your car, you take the legs out from under it and it’s going through your windshield,” Young explained.

And if all that wasn’t enough of a deterrent, you could face up to a $25,000 fine for feeding, enticing, or disturbing the wildlife.

If there’s a moose approaching your vehicle, Young advises you to drive away from the animal. Furthermore, don’t try to get out and chase it away — moose are prone to charging when confronted.

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If you’re outside your vehicle when a moose is slobbering on it, your options are limited. Patience is your friend in this case — it’s safest to wait until the animal leaves, or request help from a park official.