HomeOutdoorsNewsNeighborhood Moose Attack Leaves Idaho Woman Severely Injured

Neighborhood Moose Attack Leaves Idaho Woman Severely Injured

by Jon D. B.
Moose (Alces Alces) in Alaska.. (Photo by: Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images)

After multiple neighborhood sightings, an encounter between her small, unleashed dog and a moose prompted an Idaho woman to intervene. As she did, the moose switched its focus to her, charging her while she stood in her driveway. There it attacked and knocked her unconscious.

The victim’s identity is not public, but she is known to be in stable condition without life-threatening injuries. As the corresponding press release from Idaho Fish and Game describes of her incident: “When the homeowner attempted to intervene, the moose, which was approximately 20 feet away, charged the woman. The moose ran at the woman, hitting her in the head which reportedly knocked her unconscious for a brief time. It is unknown what happened immediately after the contact, but her injuries are consistent with a moose continuing the attack while the woman was on the ground.”

The moose attack took place on Friday, Jan. 13, but was not reported to Idaho Fish and Game until Tuesday , Jan. 17. It is imperative that residents who live in proximity to aggressive wildlife report their encounters in a timely manner. “Having conservation officers and biologists responding immediately to an attack or aggressive wildlife incident, greatly increases our ability to safely provide a service of protecting the public from additional wildlife incidents,” officials cite.

Currently, regional staff are attempting to locate this aggressive moose so that they can relocate him/her. Multiple moose have been reported in the Warm Springs neighborhood west of Ketchum, however. Relocating the wrong moose won’t help residents much in the way of preventing further aggression.

Why Moose May Become Aggressive in Winter and How to Avoid Attacks

Aggression by these enormous cervids can become more common in winter as extreme cold, ice, and deep snow prevent ample feeding. As food is scarce, mammals begin to deplete their fat reserves, which also kicks in stress hormones alongside hunger.

During such times, it is critically important that all residents living within moose territory reduce stressors to wildlife. Using this recent case as an example, unleashed pets (dogs specifically) are incredibly stressful to wild animals and can spur attacks. The following tips can greatly decrease your chances of a moose attack:

  • Always keep your dog on a leash when wildlife is present
  • Even if leashed, a moose may perceive a dog as a predator so avoiding an area when a moose is present may be the best and safest course of action for dog owners
  • Never put yourself in a situation where you are between a cow and calf
  • During the fall when males are in the rut, they can become very agitated and show aggression towards people and pets

If you encounter a moose, look for signs of agitation or stress. If they lay their ears back, or if the hair on the back of their neck raises, the animal is prone to charge. Moose will also snort, grunt, and/or stomp their hooves when stressors are present. or feeling threatened.

Regardless of sighs of stress, never approach a moose. Dozens of injuries via these large animals happen every year in North America. Fatalities also occur. If a moose approaches you, get behind a thick tree or vehicle, or, if you can, enter the nearest shelter immediately. Stay safe out there, Outsiders!