Yes, these warnings must be issued for some reason.

By Tim Nelson
Updated August 13, 2020

One of the easiest ways to get a video to go viral these days is to feed a popular or trendy food to an animal. It started with pizza rat and hasn’t really stopped ever since. But as a message from a Colorado park ranger indicates, people attempting to manufacture this viral content may want to stick to feeding smaller animals.

Recently, a Jefferson County, Colorado Open Space Ranger tweeted a photo of a moose accompanied by a caption describing the fact that visitors for some reason tried to both pet a moose and feed it pizza.

“Took a report of visitors trying to pet and feed a moose pizza in Clear Creek Canyon on Sunday,” Ranger Ben wrote. “Please don’t approach wildlife for any reason, moose can be extremely dangerous. Save the pizza for the Rangers.”

Beyond the fact that children’s literature is very clear about the escalating series of accommodations you’ll have to make after feeding a moose, the idea of offering the largest species of deer a slice of pizza just feels wildly dangerous. Pizza seems incompatible with the moose diet, which centers on leaves, bark, and other earthy fare.

Trying to pet an animal that can weigh anywhere from 440 to 1,500 pounds (depending on maturity and gender) also seems like a wildly inadvisable way to commune with nature. Even under normal circumstances, you should probably practice social distancing when it comes to that sort of wild beast.

So while getting out into the wilderness is a great way to responsibly break up the boredom of being trapped at home, keep the pizza to yourself. Or better yet, follow Ranger Ben’s advice and feed it to a park ranger. I’m sure keeping idiots safe from themselves inspires quite the appetite.