Call it a “Canadian Car Wash”... so many wild moose in Alberta's Peter Lougheed Provincial Park are licking parked cars encrusted with road salt that the government has had to issue a warning to area drivers.
As odd as it may seem, animals from butterflies to bull elk get their mineral fix by licking natural salt deposits. You can include moose (mooses? meese?) in that category.
Though not known for their intelligence, you have to give these imposing members of the deer family credit for figuring out the chalky white “dirt” clinging to vehicles in winter is mainly composed of dried road salt.
It's also apparent that moose observing other moose licking salt off of parked cars will imitate the actions, leading to a “cluster” of car-licking. Since wild moose are known to be ornery and can weigh up to half a ton, getting caught between a salt-seeking moose and the salt it seeks is to be avoided at all costs.
This is why on December 16th, Alberta Parks (an agency of the Government of Alberta responsible for managing Alberta's provincial parks and protected areas) issued an official warning to drivers advising them to avoid contact and conflict with car-licking moose.
The warning is open-ended though presumably the end of winter and associated road salting maintenance will remove the temptation for moose to give cruddy cars a good tongue-lashing.
In the meantime, Alberta Parks suggests drivers who find one or more moose celebrating the seasoning on their parked SUV use their remote key fob to sound the horn and frighten off the moose. Consider it a triumph of horns over antlers. (via CBC, images via Minty Verbeten, Joon Song, and Tokositna)