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Alces alces gigas
This beautiful site is a mother cow and her playful, young calf. They knew we were there before we saw them and swam across the lake. Moose have great hearing and sense of smell but are quite near-sighted. It is the largest animal in the deer family with this subspecies being the largest of all! This one stood about 6 ft at the shoulder and weighed about 1,000 lbs. The moose is an unusual looking mammal with a long nose, dangling dewlap under the chin and twig-like antlers (bulls). The name Moose is an Algonquin term for "eater of twigs." This is the most dangerous situation we were in while in Alaska. We were looking for moose every time we were hiking to avoid confrontation. A mother moose is the most dangerous animal in the area. Usually moose aren't generally aggressive but seem to be unpredictable, especially with young. Moose live on average, 12 years but can live to 20 years in the wild.
Horseshoe lake at Denali National Park and Preserve