Can moose swim



Moose feel good in the water and are very good swimmers, even over long distances (up to 20 km).


© Bertil Pettersson Mölndal / Sweden

Wide rivers or even estuaries are not an insurmountable obstacle for them. Animals have even been observed that have swum from the Swedish mainland to the Åland Islands, some 30 km away.

Of all deer, only reindeer can swim better. Moose can swim up to 10 km / h, which is faster than a man can paddle in a canoe.

photographed by Michio Hoshino - © Naoko Hoshino

They can also dive up to 6 m deep and have valve-shaped nostrils that they can close while diving.

They do this especially when there are special delicacies on the bottom of the lake. You can stay underwater for several minutes. The drive to wallow is not developed in the elk.


© NPS photo

Moose tolerate the cold very well, but suffer in the heat. This is especially true when they are plagued by swarms of flies and mosquitoes. You then stand in the water for several hours a day to cool off and avoid the mosquitoes. They also like to dip their heads under water to eat. District forester Kuhrke from the Elchwald reported a nice incident: On a hot summer's day an elk was sitting in a pond. Only nose, eyes and ears peeked out. Two families of ducks swam around the head, eager to catch mosquitoes and horseflies. Two hours later, the forester stopped by again, and he was still presented with the same picture.

But the moose only seems to go swimming for pleasure, as these pictures by Martin Kakies on the Curonian Spit show.

© Martin Kakies

© Maren and Uwe Kamke 2000-2020