Officials in western Canada are warning motorists not to interact with moose if they find the animals licking salt off their cars.
An alert issued by the province of Alberta’s government says that moose are approaching vehicles in car parks near two trails in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and warns people not to try to push the animals away while on foot.
It advises that the recommended “moose viewing distance” is 30m (100ft), and any car-licking creatures should be deterred by either sounding a horn or using a remote door alarm instead. As CBC news points out, adult moose can weigh more than 1,000lb (453kg), so shoving one is unlikely to be effective. The animals can become aggressive and charge people or vehicles if they feel threatened.
Dr Doug Whiteside from Calgary Zoo tells Global News that moose and other wildlife ordinarily get all the salt they need in their diets. “If there is no natural source of salt available they will find an alternate source, like the salt from the roads on vehicles,” he says.
The Alberta warning is in place until further notice, and officials are asking people to report any “aggressive moose encounters” immediately.