ANCHORAGE — Volunteers with the Alaska Moose Federation are setting up feeding stations in hopes of keeping moose off the roads and highways where the animals are tending to go this winter to escape deep snow.
Feeding moose is normally taboo in Alaska, but state wildlife officials have made an exception this year because of the large amounts of snow that have driven the animals from the woods and nearer to roads and highways in Southcentral Alaska.
The idea is to divert the moose with feed and toward trails they can use to get to natural feeding areas.
Alaska Moose Federation volunteers set out some of the large hay bales on Sunday.
“Moose have literally taken over the roads and you are literally driving through large herds,” Gary Olson, executive director of the Alaska Moose Federation, told KTUU-TV.
Olson said since July 1st, 2011, more than 400 moose have been hit by vehicles in the Mat-Su Valley north of Anchorage. That number is more than double the number of moose typically hit in a year.
“The Alaska Moose Federation wants to do a better job than just picking up the dead ones on the roads, we want to try to get these moose in the woods where they belong,” Olson said.
The organization says more needs to be done. The bails cost about $50 each, and it will take two to feed one moose through the end of the winter. The nonprofit is funded through donations and hopes to raise enough money to keep the feed stations stocked.