Moose are large and look quite ungainly. They have very long legs, an absurdly long face, and have a diet that is pure roughage. The winter coat is long, rough and grayish. They are very nice looking from a distance, so right for the landscape, but up close I tended to find all their faults. Biologically none of these are faults as they have evolved to serve any number of purposes; but it did enter my mind that this beast would make a very sloppy indoor pet. Of course they are rarely even outdoor pets. When we were in Alaska in early June every female seemed to have a baby or two. It was looking like a good year for the moose population; which also means a good year for the wolf population.
The moose were quite social with humans if not so much with their own kind. The parking areas had disturbed soils around them due to previous construction and maintenance. In Alaska disturbed soil grows alders and in the spring the new leaves of most any deciduous tree are a sought after treat for the moose after a winter of twigs. Hence there were moose in many town park, residential yards, and other areas that featured leafy vegetation. The moose above walked through the major parking lot at Denali National Park followed by her new twins – they were most certainly not after leaves. Whenever she stopped to browse they rushed in to suckle.
Eating is a big deal for a moose. They have longish prehensile lips that gather in small branches and then peels the leaves off as the moose lifts her head away. This is how they get about 50 pounds of leaf matter each day. With lower teeth and a strong palate they are able to harvest and crush the leaves, adding saliva and starting digestion as they swallow. They ferment the leaves in their first stomach section and then burp the mash back up to be chewed more (cud). Then it passes on into the last three stomach chambers for digestion. The droppings are rather small jelly bean shaped pellets.