While out on a trail, runners and hikers need to keep their wits about them. While animals will tend to avoid human contact, that isn’t always the case. For one Colorado runner, there was no avoiding an unfortunate run-in with a moose. Now, he has a mark to remember the moment by.
The man was visiting Winter Park, Colorado from New Mexico, according to Yahoo! News. He had his two dogs with him running on the trail in front. However, the dogs were not on a leash. As he was going down the trail everything seemed fine, until the dogs sprinted back to meet him. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials gave an update on the situation.
District Wildlife Manager, Serena Rocksund, said, “He stopped and saw the moose at 50 feet. At that point, the dogs ran past him and left the scene.” Now, dogs are man’s best friend, but even they know when the jig is up. When his dogs ran past, he should have started running with them in the opposite direction. However, he did not.
According to officials, the man instead took two steps towards the moose. That was a mistake. It caused the nearly 7-foot tall, 1400lb animal to charge the runner and attack. Luckily, he suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital and released on the same day.
Officials said, “He’s very lucky that his only injury is a hoof print-shaped laceration on the back of his head.”
Moose Attacks Rising in Colorado
While being attacked by a moose isn’t a regular occurrence, wildlife officials are concerned due to the rising number of attacks. Moose are very protective animals and do not mess around when their space is invaded. Since 2013, there have been 15 moose conflicts according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. One common denominator in these attacks, dogs.
Officials know that the addition of these pets causes moose to become more aggravated and more likely to attack. It is a good idea to keep animals on a leash to avoid unnecessary interactions with wildlife. Unfortunately, in order to protect the public, wildlife officials will put down wildlife that is too aggressive.
The most important thing is to try and remove yourself from a situation if possible. Moose give clear signs of aggravation. Those signs include laid-back ears, raised hair on the neck, and may start licking its snout. If a moose is displaying signs of aggression, the best thing to do is run. Fast. And mind your pets when in a moose environment. Moose typically do not cause these altercations according to wildlife officials.
“While moose encounters with people are quite common, moose cause few problems,” wildlife officials said. Stay alert, and know when to leave a situation that may become dangerous.