MOOSE, Wyo. — Moose in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) are forced to endure long harsh winters, but some subtle tricks help them stay warm and efficient.

According to GTNP they grow the perfect winter fur with long, hollow strands of hair that make up a very thick, dense undercoat trapping air and keeping them warm. Their chocolate “moose” color helps them absorb every ray of sunshine and their nasal passages are even designed to heat air when it’s inhaled which warms their lungs. They also conserve energy by not growing antlers in the winter, moving around less and saving their system’s resources for survival.

The biggest factor of their survive-and-thrive ability is that moose are built to be incredibly energy efficient. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail.

Their winter meals are made up of twigs, grass and leaves called “browse.” Moose also eat a lot in the fall to stock up on nutrients to ensure they will survive the winter when food is scarce, and rely on their fat storage instead of eating every day during the coldest months.

Moose are muscular and have long legs so moving through a few feet of snow isn’t difficult for them. Moose are mostly solitary, but it’s not uncommon to see two together, as calves stay with their mom for about one year before they venture off on their own.

GTNP reminds the public that if they see a moose in the wild, keep their distance and don’t make them run. They need to reserve lots of energy to survive the long winter months in the Tetons.

Buckrail @ Toby

Toby Koekkoek is a Community News Reporter, and a recent resident of Teton Valley. He enjoys writing about our region's community events and the movers and shakers that make up the culture of this unique mountain town. He enjoys deep powder, and deep thoughts, skateboarding, playing racquet sports, riding his bike, and nerding out on music. Toby also coaches freeride skiing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and runs skateboard camps in the summer.