There have been reports of 11 moose hanging out on Maligne Lake Road for the past few weeks. I have seen moose before in my life, but never in Jasper. Moose are rare in the park, compared to elk or even bears: the whole of Jasper National Park only has about 80 moose. Me and a friend were keen to see them, so after work one day, we went for a drive in search of moose.
Maligne Lake Road takes about an hour to drive, one-way. The moose were reported about three-quarters of the way up. About halfway down the road, we stopped off at Medicine Lake for a quick break to take pictures.
To our intense surprise, there was a moose – in the lake!
One of the reasons there are so few moose in the park is that they don’t like the cold water. So it was quite surprising that a moose was right in Medicine Lake, which is full of freezing cold glacier water.
In addition to being frigid, the cold water also grows a lot less vegetation. Moose love to eat vegetation off the bottom of waterbeds. They even have a special way of pinching their nostrils shut that allows them to hold their breath for up to 8 minutes underwater as they eat!
Here she is, nose down in the water, munching away:
Since all the water in Jasper is cold and there’s much less vegetation to grow and get fat on, the moose tend to be a bit smaller here than you’d see in Ontario. Regardless, I was very excited to see her!