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There are plenty of road signs around the world that amuse and bemuse motorists. The latest to raise smiles and possibly a sense of bewilderment are in Canada. Transport authorities in the town of Jasper, Alberta have erected electronic signs to warn drivers not to let moose lick their cars. Moose are the largest and heaviest members of the deer family and are native to Canada. They are a frequent sight on Canadian roads, but an addiction to salt has led them to sate their need by licking cars. Vehicles are splashed with road salt that has been sprinkled on the road to help melt snow. It is common to see moose licking salt on the roads, but they have now developed a preference for licking it off cars.

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A Jasper National Park spokesperson explained why the salt licking was a problem. He warned that the moose's addiction is becoming an increasing problem and could be fatal. He said: "This behaviour started as an occasional issue a few years ago and now is too common. People are getting far too close, and it's perpetuated by the moose's obsession with salt." A tour operator said: "I hate to say it, but this road salt is kind of like a drug for the moose." The salt habit poses additional dangers for the moose. Cars are invariably covered with a whole host of harmful chemicals. In addition, moose are vulnerable to pneumonia. Licking car surfaces could increase the risk of spreading disease.



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