The moose in the largest member of the deer family, weighing between 1400-1600 pounds and staning between 4-6 feet tall. There are approximately 200,000 moose in Alaska and they are frequently seen in the Cantwell area, moreso the females and the young. Only the male of the species have antlers which are shed in the fall after mating season. Contrary to popular belief, the primary purpose of the antlers is not for fighting but for channeling sound. Moose eat leaves of the aspen, willow and birch as their main diet in the summer and twigs of the same trees in the winter.
Females give birth to 1 or 2 babies in mid to late May after a 230-day gestation period. The babies are a reddish-brown color at birth and weight about 28 pounds. They will grow to approximately 10X that weight in 5 months. The young are weaned in the fall but will stay with the mother until she runs them off the next spring when she is about to give birth. Female moose are very protective of their young and can become aggressive if threatened. They can run up to 35 miles per hour and are good swimmers. They are best viewed and photographed from a safe distance.