DNR reminds moose watchers of traffic hazards

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is urging people to remember safety and use caution when stopping along roads to look at moose and other wildlife.

The DNR issued tips three days after a moose in western Marquette County attracted many onlookers along US-41 during a holiday travel weekend.

“We have had recurring concerns reported about motorists stopping along roadsides in the Upper Peninsula to watch and photograph moose,” said Lt. Pete Wright, a DNR district law supervisor, in a press release Wednesday. “We understand seeing a moose is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people and it can be tremendously exciting. However, people need to be mindful of the dangers posed by passing traffic and the animals themselves.”

Here is what the DNR recommends if you're stopping along a roadway to experience a Michigan moose sighting:

• Pull your vehicle completely out of the traffic lanes to park.
• Make sure vehicle has stopped moving before exiting.
• Watch behind for oncoming vehicles before opening vehicle doors.
• Do not walk through traffic to cross the highway.
• Wait until there is a sufficient opening in traffic to cross the road. Avoid having to wait in the middle of the road for cars to pass.
• Remain aware of where you and others are standing while watching or photographing wildlife. Keep away from traffic lanes. Do not rely on motorists to see you and avoid you.
• Respect moose and other wildlife as the wild creatures they are. Watch or photograph wildlife from a safe distance. Do not approach or harass wildlife.
• Keep a sharp eye out for traffic when returning to your vehicle. Use safe crossing methods.
• Watch for approaching vehicles when pulling your vehicle back onto the roadway. Merge properly with traffic.

“Michigan is fortunate to have moose and a wide array of other watchable wildlife to enjoy,” Wright said. “However, when doing so, it’s always best to keep safety in mind.”

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