Check out our Moose in Maine facts! Moose, our official state animal, has become symbolic of the wilderness. Find out more about Maine Moose in our latest moose watching blog.
Largest member of the deer family, namesake of the largest lake in Maine, and official state animal, moose have become symbolic of the wilderness. These gentle giants, weighing in at a whopping 1,400 pounds, roam the forests and wetlands of northern regions, such as Canada, the northern US, and of course, Maine! Although this climate can be challenging to survive, moose are built for the rugged winters and fleeting summers.
It is believed that moose get their name from the Algonquian Native American words for ‘twig eater’ and ‘he who stripsbark’. True to their origins, moose are herbivores. They prefer to browse taller plants and grasses due to their lanky height; some bulls grow to be over 6 feet tall at their shoulders, not even counting their head! Moose are also known to feed on the plant life both above and below the surface of ponds. Our guests get to experience this first hand on our Canoe-Based Moose Safaris! Getting so close to these hulking animals allows us to truly appreciate how they’re equipped to thrive in the Maine wilderness.
On first glance, moose seem too large to be anything other than very, very clumsy. Their long, knobby legs, humped backs, and exaggerated antlers give off an almost comical appearance. However, each feature serves a unique purpose that allows moose to flourish in Maine. For example, one of the most pressing challenges Maine has to offer is its long, cold winter months. These stretches of frigid weather make finding plants quite a task. To feed, moose use their large hooves to scrape areas clean of snow, revealing moss and lichens. Their hooves also come in handy as snowshoes to support their weight in deep snow and mud. Though odd looking, moose are resourceful in the use of their features.
Thanks in part to the effective use of their attributes, moose can navigate the Maine woods with ease. They’ve been known to run at speeds upwards of 35 miles per hour, and swim up to 6 miles per hour! Along with speed, moose have incredible stamina that allows them to swim up to 10 miles without stopping. Although moose have very few natural predators here in Maine, they can certainly make an exit when needed.
Moose have become an image of the wild nature of Maine, personifying the rugged resourcefulness needed to not only survive, but also succeed in the elements. Their impressive stature leaves a lasting impression on all who get the chance to see this beautiful animal in the wild. Although elusive, moose are one of the most extraordinary features of Maine.
Thoughtfully written by Jessica Cobb, rising senior at Greenville High School and Adventure Associate at Northeast Whitewater. 207-695-0151.