My Alaska photos aren’t over, so dry those tears. Now I’m going to start sharing some of my wildlife photos! And first up is an animal that you immediately associate with Alaska: the stately moose.
These creatures are the largest of the deer family. Weighing in from 800 -1600 pounds, they stand about 5-6.5 feet at the shoulder. They are BIG! As vegetarians, they eat massive amounts of twigs, leaves, shrubs, and other plants – up to 44 pounds a day.
Of course, their most recognizable feature of the males is the pair of antlers. Bull moose antlers are grown and cast off each year. The size of the palms, antler spread, and number of tines increase each year until the bulls reach about six years old. Antler development starts in April or May and they are covered with a dark brown, velvety skin. They drop their antlers from late November through February.
Isn’t this a handsome fellow? He resides at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which takes care of injured or orphaned animals. I really enjoyed the aerial perspective. No, I wasn’t hanging out over a pond from the upper branches of a tree! I was able to observe this moose from the safety of an observation tower.
We spotted this momma moose and calf just as we were leaving Denali National Park. While they wandered through the tall brush, we were able to take a few photos from the transport bus. Isn’t this sweet?