Moose Dies in Colorado After Getting Tangled in Resort’s Snowmaking Equipment

by Tia Bailey

Recently in Colorado, a moose sadly died at a resort. The moose was tangled in the resort’s snowmaking equipment, which led to stress that shut down his body.

The moose died at Keystone Resort. According to Summit Daily, wildlife managers said the incident is something they have never seen before. The animal got stuck in electrical cords that were connected to the snowmaking equipment.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Rachael Gonzales said “no one she has spoken with at the agency has ever seen an animal die under similar circumstances at a ski area,” according to the publication.

Parks and Wildlife shared the cause of death was capture myopathy. This is a non-infectious disease that happens when animals are under extreme stress, exertion, or struggle, and it damages their muscles. This is more common in wildlife animals than domestic.

“It’s basically just that stress on his body,” Gonzales said to the publication. “Probably trying to get out from being tangled ended up actually shutting down his body.”

It was reported that this time of year makes moose look for ways to rub off velvet left on their antlers.

“Because they need to rub off the velvet, accidents like this are more likely now than other times of year, according to Parks and Wildlife reports.” Additionally, animals with antlers are obviously more likely to get tangled up in what they are rubbing on.

Gonzales shared that wildlife officials were able to free a bull elk in Estes Park who was caught in a similar situation to the moose. However, the elk was caught in fencing, and they were able to get him out, as opposed to the moose.

Moose Dies After Getting Stuck in Electrical Cords

Resort employees did call Parks and Wildlife. But, by the time they saw what happened and made the call, it was too late for the moose.

“We always encourage people to call. If you happen to have your local wildlife officer’s phone number, give them a call,” Gonzales said. “If you don’t, then calling the office for your area is just as well.”

Although some animals can successfully get themselves untangled, Gonzales notes that it is still important to notify Parks and Wildlife.

Vail Resorts shared a statement about the accident.

“The moose was located near the mid-station of the River Run Gondola, and as part of the guidance we received from (Parks and Wildlife), we received approval to move the moose a short distance into a wooded area, just below where it was found, to dress the moose in order to be able to donate the meat,” they wrote.

Sara Lococo, senior communications manager for Keystone Resort, shared a statement calling the incident “a sad and rare accident.”