This is a very Canadian problem.
A humorous new road sign recently spotted in the province of Alberta’s Jasper National Park has been turning heads and catching widespread attention for its funny but important message. In capital letters, it reads loud and clear: “DO NOT LET MOOSE LICK YOUR CAR.” Yes, you read that right — Canada’s national park authorities are warning drivers to avoid allowing moose to lick the road salt on their vehicles.
Parks Canada officials mentioned to CNN that moose like to lick the salt off cars because they find it tasty and hard to resist, and it’s even a vital part of their diets, but this habit could lead to deadly results for both moose and humans. If a moose gets used to licking salt off cars, they will be more likely to get in closer contact with roads and vehicles, which could lead to serious accidents. Crashing into a moose is extremely dangerous as there’s a high chance it will flop through your windshield during the collision and result in severe injuries and possibly even death. To avoid this, you are encouraged to keep out of licking range by driving away when you see one approaching.
There are now more moose on the loose in Canada since the population of wolves, one of their primary predators, has been dwindling. As a result, there are higher chances than ever of encountering a moose in Canada’s national parks, and many visitors pull over to take Instagram-worthy photos of them, further exacerbating the issue. Unlike other animals who run away when humans are close, moose will stand their ground and charge if they feel threatened, so officials urge that you stay inside your car, keep your distance, and avoid any interactions with them to keep yourself and the wildlife safe.
Plus, it’s actually illegal for anyone to feed, entice, or disturb wildlife in Canada’s national parks. That means if you are caught within moose-tongue distance, you could be charged, required to appear in court, and fined up to $25,000. As if 2020 didn’t already give us plenty of things to stress about, we now have to worry about all the things that could happen if moose lick our cars.
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