Deer and automobiles are in a constant battle for roadways across the United States. Frequently, we see the hoofed creatures dead on the side of the road. However, Vermont faces entirely different animal/automobile collision dynamics. Currently, moose wreak havoc on highways throughout the state. Reports claim 41 of the massive animals have been struck by vehicles in 2021 alone.
Recently, officials with the Fish and Wildlife Department have asked Vermont drivers to be especially wary of moose on highways. According to an NBC article, moose, like many of the United States’ antlered inhabitants, have entered the breeding season. Because of this, the organization said moose are more likely to cross roadways at this time of year.
“We are asking drivers to be especially careful and for people to enjoy watching moose from a distance,” said Game Warden Lt. Carl Wedin. He further explained that, “Moose can be unpredictable and dangerous if you get too close [or] they feel cornered or get irritated.”
For example, a Colorado runner recently had a run-in with a local moose and the result could have been fatal. After all, adult male moose may grow as 6-feet high at the shoulder and weigh as much as 1,400 pounds. Luckily, however, reports state the man only suffered a hood-shaped mark on the back of his head. Although, had he chosen to run from, rather than step toward it, he could have avoided the incident altogether.
Regardless, as breeding season ensues for the large hooved animals, authorities warn Vermont residents to drive cautiously at night. They recommend remaining within vehicle headlights with enough room to stop, should one encounter one of the large creatures.
Moose Mamas Pose Threats to Unsuspecting Humans
Currently, then, moose pose major problems along Vermont highways and interstates. However, Americans residing in moose-populated areas are more frequently having run-ins with the incredibly large animals. An August encounter saw one elderly woman suffer severe injuries after an attack by a female of the breed.
The attack, which took place in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, occurred outside a rural home on August 13th. Reports state the 79-year-old woman had been dog-sitting for one of the local residents. Further, she said she was aware that a female moose and her calves had been in the yard of late. In an effort to avoid a confrontation with the Mama Moose and her babies, she said would wait for the animals to leave before taking the dog out on a leash.
Authorities stated, “This likely was an incident of a cow protecting her calves.” While the woman took all of the correct precautions to keep her and the dog safe, moose supposedly become rather defensive around dogs, reacting as they might to wolves.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the woman,” said one Area Wildlife Manager. “This incident was no fault of her own. Conflicts with moose can happen, even when you follow best practices for living in moose habitat.”