Colorado is famous for many things but recently it is the Moose who have been making headlines. This season has seen many dangerous encounters between humans and moose already. Moose can be very dangerous especially during mating season. Male moose are called bulls and females are called cows. Both cows and bulls can be dangerous and aggressive towards humans for different reasons. Moose are huge, weighing between 800 and 1,200 pounds. They can stand up to 6 feet tall, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Moose have been known to take over haystacks or feedyards and attack any human or livestock who comes near. Even if you aren’t trying to take their food, doing something as simple as going for a walk can lead to disaster when moose are around. Make sure to take proper precautions when encountering a moose.
79 year old Janne Schultz from Glenwood Springs told a news outlet about her experience being attacked by a moose saying, “I was hit by a moose, and he did not like me.” While walking her dog on Friday the 13th in a rural area just south of Glenwood Springs, Schultz saw the cow with her calves and waited for them to pass. Once she thought the moose had moved on she continued walking. Suddenly she was attacked out of nowhere. “I thought it was a human being at first. I said oh god there’s bad people up here too. Then I saw it was the moose,” Schultz recalled to the reporter. Eventually the moose ran off and Schultz was flown to a Denver hospital with a few broken ribs and collarbone. Her scapula was shattered and she had fractured vertebrae in her neck. A few days later a New Mexico man was running on a trail in Winter Park, Colorado with his two dogs when they encountered a bull moose. The dogs were off-leash ahead of their owner when they suddenly turned around and ran away, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said. “He stopped and saw the moose at 50 feet,” District Wildlife Manager Serena Rocksund said in a news release. “At that point, the dogs ran past him and left the scene.” The man reported seeing the bull as it charged toward him. The moose left him with only minor injuries. “He’s very lucky that his only injury is a hoof print-shaped laceration on the back of his head,” Rocksund said. Both him and Schultz were lucky to get away with their lives. Moose attacks are becoming more of an issue in Colorado. So, what can you do to reduce your risk of being attacked by a moose?
When Moose Attack
“We’ve had some increased reports of human-moose conflicts near Grand Lake since the East Troublesome Fire,” Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington said in a news release. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, moose are protective animals and will defend their young and home at all costs. Moose have very few natural enemies and do not fear humans. They often will approach humans or houses. That is why it is a good idea to know what different moose behavior means. Signs of moose aggression include laid back ears, raised hairs on the neck, and licking of the snout. Moose have been known to be more aggressive around dogs. Colorado Parks and Wildlife knows of at least 15 moose conflicts since 2013 where people have been severely injured. Dogs were involved in almost all of those conflicts, wildlife officials said. If a moose displays aggressive behavior or begins to run at you, run as fast as you can and try to put a large object between you such as a boulder, car or tree. If at all possible, climb on something taller than the moose, such as a tree. Remember getting a “closer look” or “better shot with the camera” could lead to a life threatening situation when it comes to dealing with Moose. Colorado Parks and Wildlife say they are liable for damage to crops, forage and fences caused by moose. If moose are causing damage, contact your local officer immediately.
Written by: Erinn Malloy