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Category: Ungulates

Location: Safari Drive

Northern Europe and Russia are cold for much of the year, reaching an average of 15°C. Within the forests of these regions live Europe’s second largest living land mammal. Only European bison outweigh these giants of the forest.

European moose are unmistakable, apart from their size they can be identified by their long, rounded snouts and huge flattened antlers. From hoof to shoulder, they range from 5′ to 6.5′ feet and weigh up to 600kg.

Male moose (bulls) have huge antlers used during the mating season, they begin to grow in the spring, then shed during winter. The mating season, called the rut, happens in late September and goes through to October. After a gestation period of 231 days, a single baby is born (a calf).

 

Moose cannot sweat and their huge stomach produces lots of heat energy as they digest the tough fibrous vegetation so they stay close to water, places to cool themselves during spells of warm weather and also protection against biting insects.

Moose feed on vegetation including broad leaf trees, twigs, shrubs and even aquatic plants.

Moose live in forests, swamps and wetlands in North America in Alaska and Canada, and across northern Europe including Scandinavia and Poland.

Moose are currently listing as least concern and increasing. The main threats to moose populations are from humans and the altering of their habitats.

 

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