An Edmonton man is warning others to watch out for a moose in Jasper National Park that has taken to licking visitors’ cars.
Rick Schuh and his wife were hiking in the area of Maligne Lake Sunday.
After a day filled with wildlife sightings, they got in their car to leave the park when they came upon several stopped vehicles.
“Lo and behold, it was a moose right in the middle of the road and it was just kind of wandering between the cars and it started licking the cars,” said Shuch. “It took its time. It was just licking that car from one end to the other and then it would move on to the next car.”
He said his wife joked that the vehicles must be in line for a free car wash.
But after seeing how unafraid the moose seemed of humans, Schuh said they became concerned for its well-being.
“It occurred to us that this moose is a little too comfortable around cars,” said Schuh. “Other cars that were trying to pass by, they’d be driving really slowly and the moose would just turn its head and lick that car, and this was not a good thing for that moose.”
He suspects the moose might have had a hankering for road salt that had gotten on the vehicles.
Eventually the moose moved on and the couple drove away. While he said the encounter was incredible, Schuh is urging other drivers in the area to obey posted speed limits, heed animal crossing signs and not try to feed or touch animals.
“Some cars, they just left their windows open and as the moose came up to them they were trying to reach out and touch it,” he said. “Wildlife is really unpredictable…you don’t take chances.”
Those visiting Jasper National Park are asked to stay 30 metres away from elk and 100 metres away from bears.
It’s against the law to feed, entice or disturb wildlife in national parks and violators could face charges of fines of up to $25,000.