Global Warming And Knee Deep Moose

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Moose don't particularly enjoy trudging through knee deep snow, any more than humans do. So it really isn't much of a surprise that they tend to leave areas where the snow is really deep and go to where it's easier to move around. Downtown Anchorage, Alaska, for example.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Deep mountain snow usually drives moose to seek lower ground in Anchorage, but the snow piling up in town this winter is a bit much even for the stilt-legged animals. So they're going where they'd rather not, choosing major roads, plowed sidewalks and groomed trails to sidestep the vast cushion of snow in neighborhoods and greenbelts left during a remarkably temperamental month in Alaska's largest city.

The half-ton ungulates are even showing up downtown, placidly gnawing on bare trees at busy intersections.

"They don't want to walk through deep snow either," said state wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott. "Most moose don't really want to interact with people and cars and dogs."

Snow removal crews are overwhelmed with the aftermath of storms that dumped almost 76 inches of snow midway through a season that normally totals 68 inches. It'll be weeks before they get a handle on the massive chokehold, but if the weather pattern continues the city's moose could suffer — and so could people, said Don Spalinger, an ecologist at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

"The problem is the moose are sticking to the trails. They're out on the roads. We could see a lot more of them hit by cars," he said, not to mention more dangerous encounters between moose and people.

There are a lot of moose getting into altercations with automobiles, too. Now normally, I'd be turning a story like this into an Animal Uprising™ post, but there is some information here that warrants serious treatment of the subject. Read this again:

Snow removal crews are overwhelmed with the aftermath of storms that dumped almost 76 inches of snow midway through a season that normally totals 68 inches.

What does that have to do with global warming? Not a darn thing, any more than a hot spell has anything to do with the subject. Yet the media treats a few hot days as proof positive of global warming. Why then is this not proof positive that the ice age is returning? It is only half way through the snow season and they are already well above average snowfall. (Incidentally, the story doesn't mention global warming at all, or we'd really be having fun with it right now.)

Oh, and by the way, if a homeowner in Anchorage discovers a frozen moose on their property when the snow finally melts, they own it. It's their problem to dispose of the half ton or so of moose-sicle.

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2 Responses to Global Warming And Knee Deep Moose

  1. OldeForce says:

    A few years back, a few of my friends from our office here in Colorado were in Anchorage on business. Someone saw a moose walking through a lot near their hotel, so they drove over for a better look. And one friend climbed over a fence to get an even better look. The note in the story about moose and people? Well,it seems you can clear a high fence in a single leap when a moose comes over to say he’s pissed off! Her office has more than a few moose figurines, from friends…

  2. Gaius says:

    Some people just don’t get it – they think moose are slow and clumsy, because they look that way when they are just wandering around. Get one mad and they are suddenly very, very fast and agile. And big, don’t forget big.

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