Our most Majestic & Most Dangerous Animal

Everyone LOVES to see the moose!  We are fortunate to see them quite often, as we live in a neighborhood surrounded by willows which are some of the moose’s favorite retreats.  A few years ago, my youngest son and our dog were charged by a bull moose right in our front yard.  As soon as Jordan and our dog were out of his line of site, the moose stopped in his tracks, acted as if nothing had happened, and started munching on our Aspen tree.

We moved to Summit County when our kids were 5 and 2.  With 2 little boys who loved to explore, it became imperative that we teach them how to be safe even within the boundaries of our own yard, since we lived right next door to the wilderness.  While many people seem to be so concerned about bear and mountain lions, our biggest concern for our boys was always the moose.  “Don’t approach them”, “hide behind a tree”, “do not let the dog approach the moose…”, became constant reminders as the boys headed out to “explore”.

I think the key to understanding wildlife is that you don’t have to be afraid to venture outside and into the wilderness – just be smart, be alert, and most of all, don’t be stupid and try to approach the animal.

This article just appeared in Facebook on Tiny Doors Frisco timeline (if you haven’t “liked” that page, I encourage you to do so…they have some great history & other good tidbits of info about the town).  This post (courtesy of the Colorado Department of Wildlife) is an excellent reminder of the dangers of moose and what is the best thing to do when confronted by a moose.

 

WHEN MOOSE MEET PEOPLE – Moose have very few natural enemies in the wild and, as a result, do not fear humans as much as most other big game species. Moose tolerate humans longer and at closer distances. They are extremely curious and often will approach humans or houses, and even will look into windows. For these reasons, it is extremely important to understand moose behavior when living in or visiting the areas they inhabit.

Female moose (cows) are very protective of their young (calves), so they can be dangerous if approached or caught off guard. Bulls can also be aggressive and territorial, especially during the breeding season (rut) in the fall. Some bulls have taken over pastures and injured or killed livestock while defending their territories. Moose have also taken over feed yards and haystacks and will defend them from any and all intruders, whether they’re livestock or human.

IF YOU OR YOUR CHILD SEE MOOSE IN THE VICINITY OF A SCHOOL, KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE AND PLEASE REPORT YOUR SIGHTING TO THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL OR STAFF MEMBER IMMEDIATELY.

These formidable beasts need their space and must be given command and respect when observed in the wild.

Signs of moose aggression include laid back ears, raised hairs on the neck, and licking of the snout

Avoid animals that are behaving belligerently or abnormally.

Keep pets away, as moose can get quite aggressive around them.

Be especially cautious when walking dogs.

Moose may think a dog is a wolf or predator, keep dogs away.

If threatened by a moose, stay calm; do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back off in direction you came.

If a moose does begin to charge, run as fast as you can and try to put a large object between you such as a boulder, car or tree.

While moose encounters with people are quite common, moose cause few problems. However, moose have “treed” people who have approached them too closely, have killed or injured pets or livestock, and have chased people away from territories they are defending. Caution and common sense go a long way in preventing potential problems with moose.

This information is from the Colorado Department of Parks & Wildlife (DOW) Website and was distributed by Summit School District. Please contact DOW directly for more information at: DOW MOOSE SAFETY, Glenwood Office 970-947-2920, or 911 for emergencies.

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