Lone Eagle Peak Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States
Moose are the biggest members of the deer family and can weight up to 1800 pounds. Males are easily identifiable by their huge antlers that can span up to six feet end to end. Their age can be estimated from the number of points on their antlers as well as the symmetry of the pair. Older males will often times have misshapen antlers that alert females to their less desirable breeding status. This particular male is clearly in the prime of his life.
Moose can be extremely dangerous, like all wildlife, and should not be approached under any circumstance. I was extremely fortunate in this situation as I was able to climb along a series of large boulders that lined the area, allowing me to get far closer than I would have without endangering myself or the moose.
Even though I was completely safe from this beautiful animal, I made sure to watch his body language as I approached. It is never my intention to cause an animal stress and if he showed any signs of being agitated by my presence, I would have back off. Fortunately, he simply made note of where I was and continued modeling for me for half an hour.
Moose Fun Fact: The skin under their neck is called a bell
Canon EOS 80D, f/5.6 @ 250 mm, 1/1000, ISO 400, No Flash
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