Why did the moose cross the lake?

…Just for funsies, apparently.

I am proud to say that I have recently increased my moose knowledge by about 98% due to an almost-direct encounter with moose-kind. While visiting Lake Massasecum in New Hampshire last month, I witnessed a moose swimming across the 409-acre lake. Said moose seemed to be criss-crossing randomly, but moving at a rather determined pace. While watching breathlessly through binoculars, I began to question the moose’s motives. And then, being a worrier, I began to worry about the moose.

Luckily, my companion had the wherewithal to read aloud from the internet: Baby moose are born knowing how to swim and continue to be great swimmers as adults. A full-grown moose can swim 6 mph*, and keep that pace for two hours.

*Note that the average human walking pace is 3.1 mph, for perspective.

Angie Brown | galacticbloom
Swimming Moose at Lake Massasecum, NH

Moose also enjoy swimming because:

  • It cools them down on hot summer days.
  • They can get away from the black flies, which OMG IKR?!
  • There’s food down there—they can close their nostrils, which is a pretty unique skill to have among ungulates.
  • Respiration rates slow down while immersed, so they can remain underwater for a while, snacking and stuff.
  • It’s good for the weary bones, reducing their chances of osteoporosis and arthritis.
  • Mountain lion and wolf cannot sneak up on moose while in lake.
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