Close encounter at Antelope Flats, Grand Teton National Park. December, 2018.
Moose: “Hello, small wolf.”
Dog: “Are you seeing this?”
I was photographing a group of bull moose on the side of the road at Antelope Flats, near Kelly, when suddenly they started walking towards the road, and this big bull took an interest in this dog, which was left in a car parked on the shoulder. The driver of the car parked a little too close and didn’t get a chance to move it before the moose approached, giving his dog an uncomfortably close look. I was worried the dog would start barking or do something that would make the moose react aggressively, but fortunately, the moose lost interest after a few seconds, and went on its way without incident.
This is a good opportunity to remember these are large, unpredictable, wild animals, and getting too close can result in serious injuries or death, including their own. For their safety and yours, remember that the minimum distances according to park regulations are 100 yards for bears and wolves, and 25 yards for other wildlife; preferably more, if they seem agitated or uncomfortable with your presence. Make sure you keep your distance even if they approach you, and if you’re in your car, make sure you’re far enough that you can move it if they start approaching.
I’m extremely honored that the first of these photographs has been chosen as one of the four highly commended photos in London’s Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Awards.