FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — It’s not just people who are a bit irritated by the deep snow this winter in Alaska.
A wildlife official in Alaska tells Fairbanks television station KTVF-TV that the deep snowfall and strong winds that have been prevalent across the state this winter have prompted moose to act more aggressively toward humans.
“The December snowfall was really high,” said Tony Hollis, Fairbanks area wildlife biologist for the Department of Fish and Game. “This deep snow has caused moose to not want to be out in the snow. They want to be out on the sidewalks, or hard packed trails or groomed trails where traveling is easier for them.”
Moose don’t want to get pushed off the plowed areas like streets and roads.
“They don’t want to have to travel into the deep snow, and so if forced to, they get aggressive … to just stay on the hard ground,” Hollis said.
Moose are also acting more aggressive as they get close to people’s homes or property, which adds concerns for residents.
He advised people to be patient and wait for a moose to leave an area instead of trying to engage the moose, but he says it may take some time because moose are not moving fast at this point.
He said moose could become aggressive if people try to haze them.
“They can be real stubborn, especially when they’re stressed like right now, and their response is to be aggressive when they’re stressed,” Hollis said. “Trying to haze a moose, push it, may cause that animal to get aggressive and charge and attack.”