Alaskan Moose

Characteristics

The Alaskan Moose are long-legged and heavy bodied with a drooping nose. Under their chin they have a fold of hair-covered skin called a dewlap or bell. Alaskan moose also have a short tail. Their coats range in color from golden brown to black, depending on the season and the age of the animal. Newborn calves are typically a red-brown, which fades to a lighter rust color within a few weeks. Their large antlers make them easily recognized but are only carried by males. The largest sized antlers (trophy size) are usually developed by ages 10-12.  

Behavior

The Alaskan Moose is highly active during the day, especially at dawn and dusk. They are very good swimmers and can swim as fast as six miles per hour. They generally only encounter other moose for mating and courtship. They are known to be peaceful animals but can become aggressive if they feel threatened. 

Did You Know?  

  • The Alaskan Moose is known as moose across North America, but called elk in Europe.
  • Moose communicate through a variety of vocalization, noises, body positioning, and odors.
  • A mature female moose is called a cow, and can birth one to two calves. 

Our Animals

We have one Alaskan Moose here at Potter Park Zoo, Willow, named for one of the primary elements in her diet, willow branches. She was born in May of 2013, and brought to the zoo after being orphaned in Alaska. 

Video

Scientific Name Alces alces
Conservation Status ICUN: Species of Least Concern
Size On average, an adult moose stands 5 to 7 feet at the shoulder. In prime condition adult males weigh from 1,200 to 1,600 pounds, and females weigh 800 to 1,300 pounds.
Average Lifespan Alaskan Moose will live up to 16 years in the wild. They have been known to reach 15-20 years in a zoo setting.
Wild Diet Herbivorous, eats willow, birch, and aspen leaves and twigs, in addition to sedges, Equisetum, pond weeds, and grasses.