Can Moose Reduce Anxiety?

It all depends on your situation. If you ever find yourself in a forested area where there are natural water features like swamps, bogs, marshes, lakes, streams, ponds, what have you, then you might encounter a moose. If any of those places are in Northern Minnesota, Alaska, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or Isle Royale, Grand Tetons, Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park or anywhere in Canada, the chances of seeing a moose may be good. However…

Here are three very real problems that can arise when moose and humans meet.

Problem 1: Sure. Moose are cute. But contrary to popular belief, moose are quite territorial. If they see you as a threat or feel disturbed by your presence, they will respond the only way they know how, and that is by aggressively charging. At 35 miles per hours. They would probably kill you.

Problem 2: During mating season in the fall, bull moose in rut are fearless and ready to brawl with other males as they search for mates. And you just don’t mess with bull moose in rut. Because they weigh around 1,000 pounds. And they might kill you.

Which leads us to problem 3: I once read a book the introduced the concept of a parasite called Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, or simply brainworm or moose illness. This parasite causes damage to the central nervous system and effects the neurological system of the host by laying its eggs on the outside of the brain where the hatched larvae travels through the bloodsteam and into the lungs, entering into the respiratory tract, being swallowed, and then passing through the host’s body in the mucus coating of feces. Severe symptoms include weakness, lameness, circular walking motion, partial or complete blindness or death, as well as a loss of fear for humans. For all parties involved, this is less than ideal. So, they could kill you.

Based off these problems, moose might not reduce anxiety.

Otherwise, moose are very peaceful creatures and really do prefer to leave humans alone. The only calming aspect about them is that they mostly live in solitude and eat a lot of aquatic plants. And they are fabulous swimmers. But they are capable of killing you. Pro tip, just let them be.


Recently, I have been facing some minor anxiety and in order to reduce a bit of the stress, I drew this moose. In the short time I took to draw this, it was as naturalistic as I wanted it to be. And because nature in and of itself minimizes anxiety (unless you are in one of the many places previously mentioned because you might stumble upon a moose), I felt better after completing it.

And if you ever do run into a moose or are interested in how to stay safe in the presence of one, follow the link and peruse the informative site. This Alaska/moose expert Bob seems pretty knowledgeable:

When I’m feeling apprehensive or worried and can’t find the words to express what I’m feeling, I channel it all into self-expression.

I guess moose can reduce anxiety.


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