Female moose use their strong leg kicks to defend themselves and their offspring from predators, while males also use their broad antlers for defense. However, moose, who are capable of running up to 35 miles per hour, prefer to use their long legs to flee potential predators, if possible. While predators do occasionally attack adult moose, the young calves are the most frequent targets of predators.
The great size of moose also helps to protect them. Moose are the largest members of the deer family. These enormous animals can reach nearly 1,700 pounds in weight and exceed 10 feet in length. Standing nearly seven feet tall at the shoulder, moose tower above most of their predators. However, moose do not start life with such massive size, and the young animals are born weighing approximately 35 pounds — perfectly sized for many predators.
The primary predators of moose include wolves, cougars, tigers, black bears, grizzly bears and brown bears. Occasionally coyotes attack moose, but these small predators usually concentrate on newborn calves. Female moose, often called cows, defend their young vigorously and keep them close for at least a year. The males, also called bulls, do not engage in parental care of any kind.