Chances are good that a visitor to Alaska will see a moose. Moose are plentiful here, with an estimated population of 175,000. The moose is the largest of the deer family; bulls can reach a height of 7 feet and weigh up to 1600 pounds, females are a bit smaller. Only the bull moose has antlers, which are shed every fall. Female moose bear one to two calves about every 2 years. Once in a great while, a female will bear three calves.
Though moose have a gangly, almost comic appearance, with long, skinny legs, a big midsection and a pronounced snout, they are fast and can be quite dangerous. They can attack if threatened or surprised. Females are very protective of their young and will attack if there is a perceived threat. Though the calves are adorable and the mother may seem unconcerned, do not get too close when viewing or taking pictures. People have been seriously hurt by a cow when they got too close to the babies. The moose will ram, bite and kick at the perceived threat and people have been hospitalized as a result. Check with the rangers and/or read up on an appropriate distance to maintain when encountering moose.