DENVER
12/23/2011 03:55 pm ET

Moose And Her Two Calves Caught Licking Parked Cars

Forget cowlicks, in Steamboat Springs a "mooselick" may be more likely (though not the Urban Dictionary definition, which defines a mooselick as: "The act of licking someone, usually their face, with tongue flattened out in order to cover as much surface as possible in a sweeping motion").

About four hours northeast of Denver a moose and her two calves were discovered licking parked cars for their collected salt content yesterday, Steamboat Today reports.

Moose, like other animals, get salt cravings but have a bad habit of trekking to the roadside pools leftover from deicing in the wintertime rather than being satisfied with their natural salt suppliers, plants.

Though, as graduate student Paul Grosman points out in his study "Reducing Moose-Vehicle Collisions through Salt Pool Removal and Displacement: an Agent-Based Modeling Approach," one can hardly blame them.

"Sodium concentration is two or three times higher in roadside salt pools compared to aquatic plants, yet those salt pools increase the probability of moose-vehicle collisions by 80 percent," Grosman, a graduate student in the Concordia University Department of Geography, Planning and Environment says in a study published in Ecology and Society.

Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Jim Haskins has been issuing warnings to spectators about giving the moose plenty of room when they come into town for their salt cravings.

"I'm worried about having them because a cow will aggressively protect the calves. They can run over the top of you, and they use their hooves to defend themselves," Haskins told Steamboat Today.

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