In Canada, believe it or not, moose licking salt off of cars is an actual problem. So much so that Canadian authorities have placed digital signs out that warn motorists not to let moose lick their vehicles.
As the winter months bring in cold and snowy weather, officials salt the roads for traction and to help melt the ice and snow. However, the huge animals are basically addicted to licking road salt, whether off the tarmac or cars. It can cause numerous issues on the road, for the drivers and moose both.
The issue has become increasingly common as the moose population grows and becomes more comfortable around humans. Encounters with moose licking salt off cars happens on a regular basis in Canada. Therefore, Canadian officials have put up digital signs to remind motorists of the issue.
Moose Licking Salt Has Become Worse Because of Tourists
During an interview with CBC, the owner of Jasper Tour Company Joe Urie spoke about how much the beast‘s love salt. He says that when the roads are salted, it’s not uncommon to pass numerous moose on the road. But, just because it seems harmless and could be a great photo op, doesn’t mean that’s the case. Urie shared that on one recent drive he passed by 13 of the animals completely unconcerned with motorists.
“That was one of 13 moose. I just rolled by him. And as you can see by him, he’s not concerned in the least. I hate to say it, but this road salt is kind of like crack [to a moose],” Urie explained. “Let’s say you do come to a stop to get your [photo of the moose]. If that moose then starts to approach your vehicle, you know what’s coming next. Get moving. Don’t give the moose the opportunity to [lick the salt].”
In fact, tourists are making the problem even worse. They often visit and go out of their way to allow the animals to lick their cars. Typically, the tourists are hoping for good photos or social media videos in an up-close encounter with a moose. Yet, Canadian officials are now taking measures to keep the creatures away from cars, and vice versa.
According to Jasper-based publication Fitzhugh, officials introduced new restrictions in 2020 to combat the trend. Motorists are now forbidden to leave their car if they encounter wildlife in Jasper National Park. Additionally, those who feed, entice, or disturb the wildlife could receive upwards of a $20,000 fine.
Officials realize that motorists may not always be able to avoid the encounter. Alberta Parks has some suggestions on dealing with moose. They say that motorists should attempt to scare off the large animals by honking their horn. But, they also said that motorists should never try to physically push the moose out of the way with their vehicle.