Credit: USFW/X

Yes, Moose Can Swim—Really Freaking Well

Everybody seems to doubt the athleticism of a moose, but they shouldn't.

In a recent social media post, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service asked: "Did you know meese can swim?" And the question confused a lot of people. First, it took a minute for everyone to realize that they used the term "meese" as a joke (moose is both singular and plural — kind of like deer). But then they addressed the question at hand and the answer was almost a definitive "whoa!"

"Sure. They're closely related to geese," said one commenter on X. "Yes, seen it many times here in New England! They love all the good munchies at the bottom of riverbeds, marshes and swamps, too — yum!" another answered. And yet another asked: "This guy is absolutely hauling. Are they outboard or inboard motors?"

In the video shared alongside the comment, a moose swims across a river at Wyoming's Seedskadee and Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. While it obviously swims with the current, it maintains control like a skilled natural. Then, it climbs up onto the river bank, shakes the water off its fur, and gallops away.

Why moose are such good swimmers

Experts say moose are the largest members of the deer family and while all deer know how to swim, moose are especially good at it. They can swim at speeds reaching six miles per hour for up to two hours. While six miles per hour is nothing compared to how fast they can run, a human can only swim about two miles per hour.

Additionally, experts say moose have thick fur coats with long hollow hair that insulate them from extremely cold temperatures. While their fur keeps them warm in temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees, it also makes them incredibly buoyant and it serves kind of like a life jacket.

What's more, experts say moose can dive underwater — some say as deep as five meters — and hold their breath for a full minute. The reason why moose are so adept at swimming is that when cold weather comes around, they will eat aquatic plants, which are plentiful as moose have to compete with other herbivores for food. Plus, underwater plants are higher in minerals and nutrients than land plants.