The internet is a weird place; so is Canada. So when an image is posted online that purports to be coming from the great white north, and seems to be really peculiar, how do you know if it’s real or not? Through the wonders of editing you could make all sorts of weird road signs. But what about a sign that warns you not to let moose lick your car? Is that a real thing? If so, why? Let’s find out.
In November of 2020, Twitter user Carolyn Campbell posted the following:
It seems absurd, but it is Canada we’re talking about, so maybe it’s true? Well yes, as a matter of fact, it is 100% true. That sign really was posted up because of the danger that moose can pose to the flow of traffic and to the lives of motorists. A few months ago in November of 2021, a man was killed after hitting a moose in the Laurentians region of Quebec. From 2000 to 2014, 236 people were killed in moose-related crashes. Compare that to the 173 people killed in crashes with deer, and you can see where moose on the roads is a legitimate problem.
Why are moose licking cars though? Well, if you know anything about driving in areas that receive heavy snowfall, you probably already know the reason: salt. While it’s not good for the environment surrounding the roads, salt is used on the asphalt in order to help melt ice and provide more traction for drivers. As this salt is kicked up from the tires and onto the body of vehicles, this can build up over time. This is bad for the body of the car in general but it’s great for moose who need salt in their diet.
Animals are creatures of habit, hence why people are often advised not to feed wild animals as they’ll continue to come back if they recognize a food source. So if moose recognize cars and roads as a source of salt, they’ll keep coming back. Also, because of the size of moose, they don’t really scare away from people. Steve Young, the spokesperson for the Jasper National Park in Alberta notes moose will charge at you if they feel threatened.
Moose are hulking behemoths that you do not want to tangle with. An episode of “Mythbusters” tackled the subject once of crashing into a moose and it does not end well. Like really, not well at all. Tourists travelling through Canada may not realize the danger these animals can pose on motorways which is why that sign was so important. Though when you have a message that sounds that ridiculous, sometimes the importance of it is lost along the way. So if you’re travelling through Canada, please remember, don’t let moose lick your car.