It’s mating season for moose, and that means surging hormones and raging bulls … and bad news for this woman’s car!

Warning: This clip contains some profanity.

Alberta Laktonen caught this video while out walking her dog. This young male moose – spotted earlier wandering around Laktonen's Alaska neighbourhood – ended up hanging around her front yard for some one-on-one sparring with her car, and then for good measure, the mailbox, too.

As summer goes into autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, moose go into rut. Males’ antlers achieve their maximum growth, as large as two metres (six feet) with a weight of 18kg (40lbs), their neck muscles double in size, and they produce a whole lot of testosterone. To impress females, they’ll clash heads, thrash about, and generally poke their antlers into whatever’s nearby; in their forest homes, that usually amounts to bushes and trees, but in the suburbs, a car will do just fine.

According to Laktonen, the moose ultimately caused an estimated US $5,600 in damage to the unfortunate vehicle.

Lots of ruminant animals around the world go into rut, including deer, camels, goats, antelopes, and more. Elk, too, have been known to charge cars that get too close to them during this touchy time (they also emit terrifying screams).

In the video, Laktonen and her neighbours understandably attempt to shoo the moose away, but wildlife experts advise against getting too close or attracting the animals’ attention. A bull moose can weight 750kg (1,650lbs) or more, so as tough as it is to watch your car get trashed, it’s probably better than being in the path of the antlers yourself!

There’s a common tendency to imagine herbivorous animals as docile, but big plant-eaters can get themselves good and worked up, and many a vehicle has ended up on the wrong side of such aggression. Bull elephants in musth (their version of rut) have been known to react to cars with everything from destructive itch-scratching to flat-out flipping them off the road.

Even outside of the mating season, getting too close to a big herbivore is a dangerous risk, be it a protective elephant, a territorial rhino, or an irritated bison.

Before long, this young moose will calm down as the winter sets in and he sheds those beautiful antlers. But when autumn comes around again … well, if you’re in moose country, you might consider keeping the car in a garage.

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Header Image: NPS Climate Change Response