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(Copyright Paula Vanlandingham, 2014)
The “Moose” Passage
The moose is one of the biggest animals on the North American continent. Both buffaloes and moose are about six and a half feet tall. In terms of weight, a moose can be up to 200 pounds heavier than a polar bear. Because moose are bothered by heat, they tend to seek out cool environments, and are found as far east as China and Russia. Its antlers can be up to six feet wide. Although it looks like a horse, it is actually the largest member of the deer species.
Bulls are most vocal during mating season in October. Hunters mimic their calls or use a decoy to lure them closer. In early summer, moose calves are born. A mother fiercely protects her young for the first year, living in lowlands near water. As males grow antlers, they are covered in a soft velvet, which they rub off on trees and shrubs. The lifespan of a moose is about 15 to 16 years. Although they are not currently considered an endangered species, climate change is the likely cause of falling population counts in areas where they once thrived.