HomeOutdoorsNewsAlaska Law Enforcement Official Killed by Muskox Outside His Home

Alaska Law Enforcement Official Killed by Muskox Outside His Home

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Werner LAYER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

A court services officer with Alaska’s state troopers died on Tuesday after he was attacked by a muskox.

HuffPost reports the court services officer was identified as Curtis Worland who lived near Nome, AK. He had been trying to scare away a group of muskoxen from a dog kennel when one became aggressive and attacked. Sadly, state troopers report Worland was declared dead at the scene.

As of Wednesday, Alaska state troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel said officials could not provide a definitive number regarding the group of muskox that had found itself onto Worland’s property. In the meantime, Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, and the state’s Department of Fish and Game are investigating.

Prior to his death, Worland fulfilled a necessary and extremely important role among Alaska’s state troopers. Instead of a traditional patrol, the court services officer was in charge of a number of crucial tasks and roles. He helped in managing prisoner transport services, providing courthouse security, and also aiding in court document service.

Per the news outlet, the Alaskan muskox is a massive animal. Weighing up to 800 pounds, these creatures are rather unique in appearance. They boast stocky statures, long hair, and slight shoulder humps and horns. A prior video shows how powerful these animals can really be. It also shows just how much danger they actually pose to a human, when irritated.

Alaskan Muskoxen Go Head to Head Vying for Female Partner

In light of Curtis Worland’s untimely death on Tuesday, we’re reflecting on the might of the powerful muskox with a video that went viral last year. The clip, posted to Twitter, shows a pair of male muskoxen going head to head as they vie for the attention of a nearby female. Repeatedly clashing heads, we can hear just how powerful these large creatures are. Take a look.

The video, taken in the Anvil Mountains—again near Nome, Alaska—shows two muskox preparing to face off, backing up several feet before clashing together in a whirlwind of horns, hooves, and fur. With how loud the thud from their colliding skulls is, it’s a wonder neither one of these mighty creatures doesn’t walk away dazed. Instead, they come back into each other, again and again.

Meanwhile, in the background, we can just see the female muskox trotting away, either impatient to see which of the males won the battle of brawn or, potentially, completely uninterested in the first place.

Regardless, the clip saw loads of attention since going live online, amassing more than 71K views in the last year. Viewers reflected on the battle of the Alaskan muskoxen in the comments.

“How can that be good for them?” one Twitter user pondered. Another, fortunately, had a fascinating answer.

“Their skulls are 3 inches thick,” they said, “with another 4 inches of horn on top of that!”

Given those statistics, we suggest keeping as much distance between yourself and Alaska’s muskoxen as Yellowstone National Park officials recommend keeping from the park’s native bison.