American English Podcast

151.2 - Moose in the U.S. (Do we live in harmony with our moose?)

September 26, 2023 Shana Thompson Season 4 Episode 151
American English Podcast
151.2 - Moose in the U.S. (Do we live in harmony with our moose?)
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Moose are majestic creatures and an iconic symbol of wilderness in North America. They inhabit many northern states in the U.S.; the state with the biggest population is Alaska. 

In this episode, you'll learn many English words related to nature and animals, but it's much more than a National Geographic style lesson. You're about to step into the funny, wild and sometimes tragic tales that emerge as humans and moose try to live harmoniously.

In this lesson, we'll answer questions like: 

  1. What is it like to live near moose?
  2. Will I be attacked by a moose in the Northeast?
  3. Do Americans hunt moose? Do they eat moose?

Take time to appreciate moose! :) (yes, moose is the plural form)

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Generally you'll get behind the moose and you'll just follow them for a short distance and the moose will just jump off the trail.

But not this time. The moose stops in the trail. Janice Powell says she knew something wasn't right.

His fur was standing up, his ears were back, his head went low and definitely knew something was up.

And then the animal charged.


Hi, everybody. My name is Shana and this is the American English Podcast. My goal here is to teach you the English spoken in the United States. Through common expressions, pronunciation tips, and interesting cultural snippets or stories, I hope to keep this fun, useful and interesting! Let's do it.


What comes to mind when you think about animals that live in the United States?

Maybe you think of bears. You're right, we have quite a few bears here: Black bears, brown bears and grizzly bears. Grizzlies are those massive ones that you might remember Leonardo DiCaprio fighting in that famous Hollywood movie "The Revenant." Grizzlies are only in a handful of states.

Perhaps you think of bald eagles, which is not only our national animal, it's the symbol of the United States. You'll see the bald eagle on our stamps, our money, our government buildings.

Or maybe American bison come to mind, which are also known as Buffalo. They graze the Great Plains; the Great Plains is the flat, open landscape that characterizes the central part of the United States. They're the largest land mammal in North America.

A close second is moose. They're also a very large, hairy land mammal.


Welcome back. This is the second part of episode number 151, and today we're going to talk all about Moose. When I think about this recording, there are three different parts. In the first part, you'll hear all about moose and the habitat they live in, how they live their lives, what they eat, sort of like a National Geographic style part.

And in part two, you'll hear how humans and moose live together. It's not always in harmony, there's some stories there.

In part three, we talk about moose populations and hunting moose. We also talk about eating moose. Do Americans eat moose? Find out.


Before we begin today's episode, let's avoid some confusion: In English, we have the terms moose and elk. They are not the same species of animal, although they are both in a family called Cervidae. Moose are darker than elk, they're much bigger. And I just wanted to state this because in many languages Elk refers to both species. In English, we've got two words: elk and moose.

The second thing I want to mention is the plural form of moose is moose. One moose. Five moose. We don't change the word moose. It's sort of like sheep and deer. We don't say mooses sheeps or deers. We say moose, sheep and deer. It doesn't matter if there's 1 or 20. It is uncountable. Moose.

So let's begin.

Moose inhabit many of the northern states in the United States, especially those bordering Canada, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Montana and even West Coast states like Washington and Idaho.

They thrive in areas that are cold, so you'll find a lot of them up in Alaska. Not only is Moose the state animal of Alaska, they have the highest moose population in the US. Over 200,000 of them live there.

You can kind of picture what it looks like. Imagine cold, long [00:05:00] winters, a lot of forested area.

The thing is, moose have a thick coat of fur close to their body for insulation and another layer of dark, dense hair on top that helps keep them dry. Just a simple shake after taking a swim and that water flies off their hair. Their coat not only provides that warmth for those winter months, it also provides camouflage so they can blend in with their environment, which is incredibly useful.

While Moose are big and strong, they can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and stand at six and a half to seven feet tall, not including their antlers, they do have predators in the wilderness. A predator is an animal that hunts, stalks and kills another animal for food. A predator hunts prey. Predators of moose include wolves, bears such as grizzly bears, coyotes and even mountain lions. Fortunately, though, they have ways of protecting themselves.

For one, they can run, and boy, do they run fast! They can run up to 35mph. That's 56km/h. Given their speed, they normally choose to outrun their predators. They try to run faster than them, they try to outrun them.

They can also swim, and surprisingly well. If a predator is chasing them, they may get out of harm's way by running into a river stream or lake. They can immerse themselves underwater for up to 30s and dive to a depth of 18ft. That's about 5.5m. In fact, there's another great thing about their nice coat; the hair helps them float, it makes them buoyant. Each hair on their body is hollow, it's empty in the middle, so it's as if they're on their own little raft.

This is the end of the free transcript. Be sure to sign up to Season 4 to get the full transcript, quiz, transcript reader to work on pronunciation and definitions of the 10 key vocabulary words.

About Moose
Humans and Moose: Do they live together in harmony?
Moose Populations and Hunting