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Don’t Let Moose Lick Your Car This Winter. No, Really

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Every time we think we’ve seen everything under the automotive sun, along comes something like this. Canadian authorities have issued a plea to motorists not to let moose lick their vehicles this winter.

Yes, that’s right. Particularly in western Canada, road signs are popping up asking motorists to please not let moose treat their cars like lollipops.

And why would these big beasts want to do this? you may ask. Well there’s a reason, and here it is: The road salt that gets caked on to vehicles in wintertime is apparently like crack to moose. This is according to, among others, Joe Urie, owners of Jasper Tour Company, who spoke with the CBC.

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Sign in Jasper National Park
Sign in Jasper National Park

Discerning taste buds
Moose can and do lick road pavement and other ground surfaces to get salt, but they have apparently figured out that the variety found on vehicle exteriors is even more delicious – probably because more concentrated. The problem has grown in recent years as the moose population has gotten bigger, and individual animals get more comfortable around humans.

Tourists have aggravated the problem by “encouraging” moose to come and have a lick or two of their vehicle; it’s not hard to find videos on social media. And so, authorities have taken steps to distance moose from road traffic and prevent motorists from approaching them, according to the Jasper-based Fitzhugh media outlet.

As of this year, in fact, motorists are no longer allowed to leave their vehicles when they encounter wild animals within Jasper National Park. Those caught feeding or trying to attract animals within the park could get a fine of up to $25,000.

Cheaper to bring your vehicle to a car wash, we say.

Moose and salty car
Moose and salty car