A Moment of Science

Moose, Bears, and Traffic

If you were a pregnant female moose, where would you rather give birth? Deep in the forest? Next to a busy highway? Confused?

Moose with Newborn

Photo: Bobcatnorth (On Vacation) (flickr)

Moose have started giving birth closer to the roads since their predators wont come near, but that may change in the future.

If you were a pregnant female moose, where would you rather give birth? Deep in the forest? Next to a busy highway?

Okay, it might be difficult to channel your inner pregnant moose, but you would most likely choose the forest, right? Wrong, the forest is full of hungry grizzly bears, the better choice would actually be next to the highway.

Researchers in Grand Teton National Park have found that bears there shy away from roads. Thus, as the park’s bear population has grown, Grand Teton moose have gravitated toward human traffic when they want to avoid bears. Some moose have given birth as close as fifty yards from the road.

However, the researchers think that the bears will eventually overcome their fear of cars, and start hunting moose no matter how close they are to roads.

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