Motorists in Jasper, Canada have received road warnings that you would only see in the Great White North: "DO NOT LET MOOSE LICK YOUR CAR!" I guess this is a problem our northern neighbors are dealing with, Moose walking out of the woods and licking cars.
In my head, I imagined the reason was that we were seeing incidents that looked something like this:
Only with a moose. And a car.
The real reason Canadian officials are encouraging drivers to keep their distance is that the moose think the cars are like driving pretzels. With all the salt from the road sticking to cars, moose see it as a drive by treat.
"They're obsessed with salt, it's one of the things they need for the minerals in their body," Jasper National Park spokesman Steve Young told CNN. "They usually get it from salt lakes in the park, but now they realized they can also get road salt that splashes onto cars."
At the Jasper National Park, where people often park on the side of the road in hopes of catching a glimpse of the moose, letting the animals near your car is actually a serious danger.
By allowing moose to lick the salt off your car, they will become habituated with being around cars. That poses a risk to both the animals and the drivers who can accidentally crash into them.
"Moose and cars are not a good mix. If you hit the moose with your car, you take the legs out from under it and it's going through your windshield," Young said.
So if you're driving through the Land of Maple Syrup and you see a moose, blow your horn, take evasive maneuvers, drive on. DO NOT let the moose LICK your automobile. I can't believe this needs to be said, but here we are.
Look out for Moosen!