This moose was recently caught on tape crossing an intersection with its odd ski-like hooves in Anchorage.
The condition the moose has known as “sleigh hoof.” KTUU reports the condition is caused by a copper deficiency, and though it is rarely seen in moose sightings, it actually isn’t as uncommon as some would think.
“We see them every so often here in Anchorage and I know sometimes on the Kenai Peninsula,” Alaska State Wildlife Biologist David Battle told the station. He also said the condition sometimes cures itself.
“Occasionally, the extended hoof will break off on its own and it won’t bother the moose but I would expect that if that moose was in a region where it was running into predators – bears, wolves, etc- it would probably stand a higher chance of being taken down by a predator,” Battle told the station.
You have to feel bad for this poor moose. From her strange gait, it appears this condition makes walking painful for her. In addition, this condition is evident in the population from natural selection due to the absorption of the mineral that allows the hooves to grow peculiarly.
It’s not known whether this condition would put the animal at a higher rate of death, but considering her health doesn’t seem to have gotten any better since she was first sighted in July, I hope someone can either get her help or put her down humanely at some point.