Most Canadians have only glimpsed a moose from afar. Nevertheless, this powerful animal of the northern bush is a potent symbol of our nation, an icon of the virtues of strength and independence.
Moose inhabit forests across Canada, where they feed on birch, aspen and willow twigs. More recently, they have also begun to range north of the tree line. In winter, they occupy forests where snow levels are reduced, but in summer they often frequent lakes, eating water plants and occasionally going for a swim, completely submerging themselves. These largest members of the deer family are enormous; they typically weigh between 350 and 400 kilograms. Their distinctive profile is unmistakable-a humped back covered by a deep brownish-black coat, long, stilt-like legs for wading through deep snow, and, on males, spectacular antlers.
The moose that adorns Canada Post's new definitive stamp at the $5.00 rate is an image from a steel engraving by Jorge Peral, which was itself based on a drawing by wildlife artist David Preston-Smith. It is reproduced over a colour lithographic print of sky, woods and wetland, typical of the moose's habitat. Designer Steven Slipp says he aimed to represent the monumentality of the moose. "The pose suggests an animal who is feeding and may have just been interrupted by the viewer, making a one-on-one encounter."
Various security features have been imprinted on this high-denomination stamp. A Mi'kmaq petroglyph, derived from an original in Kejimkujik National Park, appears in a "latent," or hidden, image. The sky is created with an image of a moose's hoof print in a custom half-tone pattern, and two lines of microtype reproduce the Latin name of the moose.
- Denomination: 1 x 5.00
- Design: Steven Slipp
- Dimensions: 48 mm x 64 mm (horizontal)
- Gum Type: P.V.A.
- Illustration: Jorge Peral, David Preston-Smith
- Paper Type: Tullis Russell Coatings
- Perforations: 13+
- Printer: Canadian Bank Note
- Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours plus steel engraving in two
- Tagging: None
- Quantity: Continuous printing