Is a Moose More Dangerous Than a Buffalo?

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Often, when it comes to comparing different animals, people argue that it depends on the animal’s gender. But is a moose more dangerous than a buffalo? This is of course hard to answer but we’ll make a good shot at it right here for you. Most hunters are indifferent to which between the two they would prefer to encounter in the fields. The fact is, both animals can be dangerous, depending on the situation. In my opinion, though, the moose seem to be more unreliable than the buffalo.

In the deer family, moose are the most massive and biggest members of extant species. Alaskan moose are the largest in the globe. On seeing a moose for the first time, you will get the impression of a good kind animal. Maybe it is because of the broad dopey face, with dimensions similar to those of a lovely donkey.

In North America, there is a high likelihood of being attacked and injured by moose by their population. Alaska is the leading state with the highest moose attack prevailing rate. In fact, statistics show that a bigger percentage of attacks are usually on the roads when people are driving. Even though moose are regarded as dangerous, they will charge once their personal space is intruded and feel threatened.

What to Do When You Spot a Moose

Do Not Mess With the Moose

Most people who have encountered the donkey-like animals clearly understand that an angered moose is hell on hooves. It is wiser to stay away from these animals by all means, than healing wounds or even fractures.

In the past, there have been countless reports of hikers being attacked by a moose.  In most cases, the hikes stare the moose from a distance before the animals suddenly charge towards them. These incidents, more than often turn out horrible, resulting in serious injuries. Regular hikers have suggested that they are more dangerous than bears.

When the Moose Obstructs Your Way

At times, the notorious animals may show up unexpectedly and block your way.  In Alaska, such cases are skyrocketing day in day out. Finding an alternative route around the moose is probably the wisest thing to do in such a situation. If the alternatives are limited, it is time you test your patience. Be calm and give the animal time, and it will eventually move away.

When lucky, some loud noise or movement might cause the animal to move. When moose get used to people, they tend to be more adamant about running away. If the option is to get by, keep a large object between you and the moose. It could be a vehicle, tree, building, or even a fence. Never approach a moose if it can only escape in your direction.

What You Should Know about Moose Attacks

When Are Moose Likely to Attack More?

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, there are seasons when moose related attacks sharply increase. To begin with, a notable surge is usually witnessed in September and October since it is their mating season. During the mentioned months, all males are fired up with heat, making them easily agitated.

During early summer, it is the females’ turn. In this season, the females are protecting their young ones. This is standard behavior for almost all animal species.

When experiencing winter, they do not maintain their calm either. The moose are prone to quickly getting annoyed during winters due to deep snow, hunger, and heavy tick infestation. Therefore, it is pretty much right to generalize that the moose can dangerously attack all-around the year.

In human nature, many people, probably you included, take it to the extent of feeding the moose. It may not sound very pleasant, but, unfortunately, these animals are not tamable. They can get more dangerous when feeding them. To minimize food-related attacks, feeding moose was ruled as illegal in Alaska.

What are the Signs that Signal a Moose Attack

Unlike the buffalo, moose expresses some warning signals before charges and attacks. When aware of the red flags, you are enormously advantaged since you are well-positioned to avoid the attack. Remember, backing away from a potential attack is better than surviving one.

  1. When a moose stops eating and gives you a direct look is one of the signals. Back off immediately to a safer distance. Experts argue that change in any of moose’s behavior should be interpreted to be an indicator that you are way too close.
  2. The moose also drops ears back as a dog does when preparing for an attack. 
  3. The animals’ back hair will then bristle and stand upright.
  4. Another sign that should get you alerted is when the animal is licking lips and chomping its teeth. 
  5. Finally, an agitated moose may urinate, whipping its head back just like a horse does. It is a pretty good sign of anger, and the moose can react violently.

Observing any of the mentioned warning signs would be a great hint to allow you to make an informed and wise decision. It is essential always to have it in mind that moose are big and dangerous animals. Any slight mistake can cost your life.

Moose Safety Practices

  • Never walk in between a calf and its mother (cow moose). If this happens unknowingly, back off immediately, you realize it.
  • Mostly moose confuse dogs for wolves. Therefore, keep your dogs close.
  • If you bump into a moose, behave respectfully. No shouting, loud noises, harassing or chasing after it.
  • Drive slowly in moose inhabited areas. Also, stop to let moose cross your paths in case you come across any when driving. Driving will make them attack you.
  • Do not feed moose. They might react aggressively once they don’t get what they expected.
  • When touring, watch moose from a distance.

Why Is a Buffalo the Most Dangerous?

Buffaloes are large cow-like bodies uniquely distinguished by their irregular battle-scarred helmets. Unlike the big cats, they lack the menacing carnivorous streak that cautions us on the glaring danger. These giant herbivores will give you a warrior-like and fearless fighter impression at first sight. Although the buffalo calmly graze through the fields, do not be fooled by their behavior to think they are placid.

Just like the moose, buffalos also get more aggressive during the mating seasons, and also as buffalo mothers are taking care of their calves. Though buffalo attacks are not as frequent as moose attacks, it is essential to take all necessary precautions just to keep safe.

The attack response is also similar. Ensure you keep your distance with animals, climb a tree if you encounter them in the fields, and hide behind something large such as a tree, vehicle, or a fence.

Outlined below are some convincing reasons that the buffalo play a dangerous game;

The Buffalo Is Non-Forgiving

Do not go around poking and disturbing the peace of these animals. If angered, they turn aggressive, wild, and angry within no time. Remember, they are not forgetful as the warthogs. The buffalo will remember the incidence even a day later.

Once wounded, rather than fleeing, they circle around the enemy and fight back fearlessly. This can be lethal. Like many other species, buffalo mothers can be extremely dangerous when protecting their young ones. That said, it does not mean you should underestimate an old bull. Once beyond its prime, it is more insecure and grumpier.

Buffalo Does Not Alert of Emotion

Comparing the buffalo to some other animals in the wild, they do not indicate their emotions. For instance, a charged elephant would make some noise and flay its ears. An angered lion will probably make a warning roar and still stalk its prey before attacking. On the other hand, Rhinos will give a charging indication, especially the black rhino, which is territorial and aggressive.

This is not always the case with buffaloes. There is no particular behavioral change or alert of a charging buffalo. They tend to remain in a  still position before they would suddenly charge and trample everything in its wake.

Buffalo Relatively High Speed

As much as the animals are massive and weighty, they charge at higher speeds than you can. The average buffalo speed is approximated at 35 miles per hour (mph. Therefore, if the humongous animal targets you, it charges focusing on you to the last minute.

Old Bulls Are High Tempered

The dagga boys are usually ousted from the herd. As a result, they are no longer accorded any protection by the herd. After the break-off, they form bachelor groups with others of the like.

 The daggas are huge with deeply etched horns. As their names suggest, they spend days exercising their dominance and wallowing in the mud. These old bulls tend to be very temperamental and can be dangerous and cause harm to an extent you cannot imagine. With a better understanding of the buffaloes’ behavior, you will certainly take necessary precautionary measures on your next game drive.

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