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July 24, 2014

Loose moose turns heads in southern Minnesota

A moose, roaming far from its north woods Minnesota habitat, has been plodding around the southern part of the state. It was recently spotted near Winthrop, roughly 80 miles southwest of the Twin Cities, the Mankato Free Press reports. “Generally, it’s young bulls who do this,” a Department of Natural Resources biologist told the newspaper. “They just have a lot of wander in them.”

Minnesota is one of the few states that have moose, and they tend to be concentrated in the far northern corners of the state. It is Minnesota’s largest wild animal – moose average about 1,000 pounds and their antlers alone can be about 40 pounds, the DNR notes on its moose page.

It’s almost moose-hunting season. The limited season won’t contribute to the troubling decline in Minnesota’s moose population, state wildlife officials have said, the Star Tribune reported. About 50 moose are expected to be killed in the season that opens Sept. 29.

Fun fact: moose have no front top teeth and grab food with their upper lip. Here’s more moose trivia from the Minnesota Zoo.