Moose with ‘sleigh hoof’ seen wandering South Anchorage
A KTVA viewer alerted us to an unusual sight near her South Anchorage home Friday: a moose with curved hooves.
“He was munching on the tree on our front lawn and then sat down to rest,” Damita Duplants wrote. “He is the moose with the sleigh hooves!”
Although it’s an uncommon sight, Dave Battle, area biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, says they get 2 to 3 reports of ‘sleigh hoof’ sightings every year.
The curved hooves are most commonly caused by a copper deficiency in the moose’s diet, especially if all four are bent, says Battle.
If only one hoof is bent, it’s likely that the moose suffered a trauma to that leg. The curved hoof doesn’t hurt the moose, but it does make them more susceptible to predation.
Sometimes, if the moose is lucky, the ‘sleigh hoof’ will break off, says Battle.
Moose with this condition are commonly found in the Anchorage area and on the Kenai Peninsula.