December 3, 2023

Moose Are Afraid of Wolves They Haven’t Seen in Nearly 100 Years

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How can people actually learn what animal habits are when the information they get is confusing, contradictory, biased, and/or just plain wrong? The media, being the lazy copy and paste outlets that they are (I wonder if Fascist Feinstein defines a journalist as a copy-and-paster?), just repeat what they hear or better yet embellish information, sometimes creating it themselves, in order to sell copies.

So, here we go again. Wolves are misunderstood, black bears run away from humans because they are scared of them, and moose attack people. Is this good information?

The latest comes off the OutdoorWire, about moose in Colorado attacking people. Outdoorwire and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife are saying, in their headlines, “Dogs and moose do not play well together.”

It seems there have been a few moose/human encounters, especially in the parks, and domestic dogs are involved. Colorado officials are telling people that, “moose can be aggressive when dogs and humans get too close.” Isn’t this true of all wild animals? However, we are told bears will run away and wolves are misunderstood.

But I do have a question concerning information provided readers in the press release put out by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). They said:

Moose in Colorado have very few natural predators and they are not generally frightened by humans. However, state wildlife officials caution that the large ungulates see dogs as a threat due to their similarities with wolves, their primary predator.

Really? Aren’t wolves misunderstood? Sorry, I had to add that. According to information available on the CPW website, there are estimated to be 2,000 moose now in Colorado. In addition, moose, “were introduced to North Park from Utah and Wyoming in 1978 and 1979.” So, that establishes the moose herd which reports say is growing very well in size.

But, there are no “known” wolves in Colorado. I do understand that certain instincts get passed along in wild animals, but 33 or 34 years of living in the parks in Colorado and moose still associate dogs with wolves? Really? But, wait. That’s not all. Moose were transplanted into Colorado from Utah and Wyoming in 1978 and 1979. According to the “experts” there were no wolves in Utah or Wyoming, “since hunters extirpated them” back in the 1920s and 1930. So, it’s really been almost a century since moose have had any encounters with wolves, according to expert information. So are we really to expect that moose in the parks of Colorado think people’s pet dogs remind the moose of wolves?

I’m selling a bridge in New York too!

Maybe the CPW can’t get tourists to understand that bringing their pet doggies to a wildlife setting in the woods is not a good thing and they are trying the “dogs and moose do not play well together” tactic.

What is confusing though is whether humans are supposed to believe everything they are told about wild animal behavior, or are animals supposed to be doing what the “authorities” say they are supposed to do?

I think the animals might get it. I’m not so sure about the humans.