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Video: Rutting Alaska moose take the fight to the streets

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  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published October 15, 2012

If it's fall in Alaska, that means it's time to be moose-aware. Every year, moose drop their usually-indifferent -- if maybe a little high-strung -- attitudes and begin the quest for a potential mate in the hopes of reproducing. Female moose might have it the easier of the two sexes during the rutting season, as the male moose often have to duke it out in order to establish themselves worthy as a mate.

As the National Park Service notes, moose are not typically very social creatures:

"But during autumn, moose become social and their lives change dramatically as the season for mating—also known as rutting—unfolds. Behaviors emerge that have been dormant for the past year as moose engage in rituals related solely to reproduction. Their uneventful lives quickly become hectic as bulls compete for breeding rights and cows seek out mating overtures from bulls."

These behaviors can include vocalizations, splashing themselves with urine, changes in eating habits and, of course, sparring. The rut begins at the end of summer, and peaks in September and into the early part of October. As the video above -- uploaded on Saturday -- demonstrates, for some moose it might still be going strong.

It's important to be aware of Alaska's ungulates all year, but especially during the mating season. Give moose a wide berth, and if you hear a deep-throated grunt or moan in the woods, don't go investigating.

See the original video by YouTube user dieredwards, here.