A moose and a dog inside an SUV parked alongside Antelope Flats Road stare at each other.
A moose staring at a dog with an incredulous look on its face inside an SUV parked alongside Antelope Flats Road.

Close encounter at Antelope Flats, Grand Teton National Park. December, 2018.

Moose: “Hello, small wolf.”
Dog: “Are you seeing this?”

I was photographing moose at Antelope Flats when this big bull took an interest in this dog, whose expression says it all. 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.

Fortunately, the moose lost interest after a few seconds, and went on its way without incident, but 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. 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.

Update: I’m extremely honored that the first of these photographs has been shortlisted in London’s Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Awards, which is now open for votes until February 14th, 2021. I’d be flattered if you voted for me, but to be honest I’m thrilled just being nominated!