TOWN OF FLOYD — A potential moose sighting in the Floyd area has prompted the state Department of Environmental Conservation to warn against approaching the animals.
According to social media posts, two moose were spotted near the intersection of Rabbitt and Old Floyd roads Monday morning. The poster reported seeing the animals cross the road.
Andrea Pedrick, public participation specialist with the DEC, said the department is investigating the reported sighting. She said there are about 400 to 500 moose in New York State and that it is not uncommon to see such animals in the winter.
“It’s pretty cool,” Pedrick noted. “If you see one, enjoy it. And treat them like a wild animal."
Pedrick warned not to get close to the moose and not to bother the animal, just like any animal encountered in the wild. She suggested treating a moose in the road like a deer in the road, and to drive defensively.
“You do not want to hit a moose,” Pedrick stated. “It wouldn’t be good for the driver or the moose."
The moose is the largest member of the deer family, and the largest land mammal in New York state, according to the DEC. Bulls weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds and stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh from 500 to 800 pounds, the DEC said, adding that both sexes have long, grayish-white legs, dark brown or black bodies, and a dangling flap of skin under the throat called a bell.
Only bulls grow antlers, beginning in March or April. The antlers, which regrow annually, may reach a width of more than 5 feet on mature bulls and are shed from November through January.
According to the DEC website, moose are browsers, feeding on the leaves, twigs, and buds of hardwood and softwood trees and shrubs. An adult moose eats about 40 to 60 pounds of browse every day. Favored plant species include willows, birches, maples, balsam fir, viburnums, aspen, and mountain ash. In the winter, moose may strip and eat the bark from small trees, usually maples and aspen.