- Emaciated moose, some of them starving, have been seen wandering
the Kenai Peninsula in search of food along roadways. A few
have dropped dead in residential areas.
no matter how hard it is for humans to see hungry moose and
calves, they should resist the temptation to feed the animals,
said Jeff Selinger, a state Department of Fish and Game biologist
just kill them quicker that way," he said.
Moose are similar to bears in that they spend the summer and
early fall eating as much as possible to fatten up for the winter.
Once the trees drop their leaves and the snow flies moose, unlike
hibernating bears, spend the winter roaming the woods in search
eating bark and twigs. It's a lot of bulk, but poor in nutritional
energy, so they'll always lose weight through the winter,"
Selinger told the Peninsula Clarion. "There just isn't
enough nutritious food for them to eat to keep up their energy
use up their fat reserves during the winter. Sometimes, their
muscle mass goes. That's when a moose will starve if green-up
isn't right around the corner.
first animals to succumb are those with the fewest energy reserves,
and Selinger said those are the calves. Calves' bodies use most
of their food intake to grow. They enter fall much leaner than
adults, making them especially vulnerable to starvation.
shaping up to be an average year for moose mortalities,"
in a moose's gut change slowly during the year, adapting to
winter, the microbes break down a coarse, fibrous, woody diet.
Any abrupt change, such as to alfalfa, fruit or vegetables that
humans might put out for the moose, will hurt the animals by
sending their digestive system into chaos.
still die. It will just be with a full stomach," Selinger