Can You Own A Pet Moose?

Can you have a moose as a pet? The short answer is most likely not. Moose are wild animals that are not domesticated. They will eat a lot of food and are illegal to be kept as pets in many states of the US. In this article, you will learn, why moose make such bad pets.

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Is It Legal To Own A Pet Moose?

In most states of the US and in many other countries in the world keeping moose as pets is prohibited. This is because moose are wild animals that can be dangerous for their owners, visitors and neighbors. 

Additionally, it is important to protect wildlife from us too. Chances are high that a potential pet moose owner isn’t able to take proper care.

Why Moose Don’t Make Good Pets

If you think you can keep moose like horses, you are on the wrong end. It is difficult to make these animals thrive in captivity and therefore we should let them roam in the wild northern lands.

They Are Really Big

The size is the first characteristic that makes keeping moose difficult to impossible for most people. The height to the shoulders is about 7 to 8 feet and sometimes more than 10 feet if you count to the head.

1400 pounds can be reached on the weighing scale. That’s enormous and a good indicator of the strength of the animal. Fences for example can simply be tramped down.

Even if cows are a bit small, they are still giants too. See how big they are compared to other animals and humans.

Moose Can Be Dangerous

Yes, moose are vegetarians. But wild animals can always be dangerous, even if they are no predators like panthers or lions.

In the case of moose, this is because of their sheer size and weight. A single kick can be fatal and there are reports where a moose even killed a brown bear.

That being said, you definitely don’t want to get between a cow and her offspring when you encounter a moose in the wild. The same is for males and females in heat. The actions of moose in these situations are strongly dominated by their instincts.

Moose Aren’t Domesticated

Most people that want to have a pet moose think of it like a horse that stands on the field and eats grass. But nothing is farther from reality.

Independent from the difference between domestication and taming it is a lot of work to accustom a moose to humans. It can of course work with young animals but it isn’t a general rule.

If you are interested in domestication, I recommend you read the story about the Miramichi “Moose Man” and his moose named Tommy.

They Need Much Space

I bet you already have a feeling for the space moose need. They won’t be happy with a small piece of grass you fenced in your garden. In the wild, the home range of moose can measure up to 50 square miles.

In fact, you would need a habitat that includes grass, some trees and water to make them thrive. And don’t forget a high and stable fence that can stand the force of moose. 

Moose Eat A Lot

Animals that are so big need to eat a lot, that’s no surprise. In numbers that means: A moose can eat around 50 pounds of browse daily. If your “moose enclosure” can’t keep up with this you need to buy a lot of leaves.

In this amount the food is expensive and you would need enough storage. Not very practical.

Veterinary Care Is Hard To Find

Another reason why moose don’t make good pets is veterinary care. It would be very hard to find an expert that knows the animals well. 

All vets that have experience with the big ungulates will work for zoos and animal parks as it’s often the case with exotic animals.

Additionally, you would be dependent on someone who can come to your place. Transporting a moose comes with its own challenges. You would need a trailer that can carry the weight and a car that is able to pull it.

Of course, veterinary checkups should be done regularly, even if the animal seems healthy.

How Much Is A Pet Moose?

Calculating the costs of owning a pet moose is difficult. The price for the animal itself might lay between 1000 and 5000 $ but that’s only an estimate. No moose is for sale due to prohibition and you would need to look at the black market. A no-go.

Additionally, you need to calculate the cost for the habitat, food and veterinary care. Again, this is hard to calculate but I can say: Owning a pet moose is only for the rich.

A good option might be to adopt one in a wildlife sanctuary. If you are interested, visit the website of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.