By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If the RV lifestyle weren’t hard enough already: dumping tanks, watching out for low bridges, terrifyingly steep downgrades. Now add the admonition from the Canadian government: Don’t let the moose lick your RV. OK, so technically they say “your car,” but we don’t think moose are too discerning.

Snowplows leave hibernation

@_CLCampbell on twitter.com

What’s up with a moose lick? Seems that as winter has descended on our cousins to the north, the snow plows have come out of their summer hibernation. Keeping up those snowy roads means shooshing the white stuff off to the side, and adding a little salt to the roadway to keep up improvements. Enter the ponderous moose, Alces alces, or as our cockeyed wildlife guidebook puts it, Longleggedus bullwinkleus. Anyhow, it seems moosies like salt. Sure, they could lick it right up off the roadway, but it seems the oversize Bambies prefer taking the stuff off motor vehicles. Maybe they’re too lazy to bend over as far as the asphalt.

What’s the attraction to sodium chloride? Joe Urie, a tour guide in the frozen north, says that, to a moose, “I hate to say it, but this road salt is kind of like crack.” To the addict-moose, a car is a veritable serving tray of the narcotic. And if a car is a good-sized supply tray, imagine how much more so your giant, and equally ponderous, motorhome or towed rig is.

Social media sensation

What could be cuter? Imagine posting a video of a moose giving your Winnebago the so-called “Rocky Mountain Car Wash” to your social media site. It’s become an all-too-common occurrence. A moose lick is solid gold, so much so that moose-chasing Mounties in Jasper National Park (Alberta) can issue motorists a ticket if they climb out of their rigs when a moose is slobbering all over it. Electronic billboards warn drivers not to allow moose licks.

And just how, we ask, are we to stop a 1,500 pound bull moose from French Kissing our fifth wheel? “Honk the horn,” is one bit of advice. Or is that humor, eh? Whatever you do, “Don’t try to push it away.” Since we’re already supposed to stay in the rig, one must assume said “pushing” would be accomplished with the use of the rig’s motor power. Don’t push it away? Now that IS good advice. We’d hate to see how the insurance company would respond to our damage claim if a moose were to take umbrage at being “discouraged” from a moose lick.

Lest you feel we may be feeding you a wildlife yarn, you can verify our story on Snopes.

Photo, moose licks car, @sandilou34 on twitter.com

Related:

Video: Good noos for moose! Troopers help new family clear the road
How to avoid a dangerous encounter with a moose

##RVT975

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Tim S
4 days ago

Volunteering for Grand Teton Assoc, our site was on the Ntl Elk Refuge just outside Jackson, Wy. The elk were up in the hills still, but Bighorn Sheep came down to the refuge, frequently grazing just outside our rigs. They also liked the road salt and would mosey over toward the dirt road when a vehicle was approaching. As planned, the vehicle stopped (“Look, dear… a Bighorn!”) and the sheep gathered around to lick the salt off the tires. It was great fun to watch the cameras come out from the folks in the cars!

Jim Matchullis
5 days ago

FYI, Jasper is in Alberta, not British Columbia.

Ralph Pinney
5 days ago

Lots of critters go for the salt on the roadside. Seems like it would be easy to put something in the salt mix that tastes bad to the animals.

Crowman
5 days ago
Reply to  Ralph Pinney

Why? All animals need salt and minerals let them lick.