Jason Clay / Colorado Parks and Wildlife
A 79-year-old woman was dog-sitting for a resident living at a house in Glenwood Springs, Colorado when she was attacked by a mother moose because her calves were close.
Authorities said it happened on Friday, August 13th around 9 at night. The home is located in a rural area just south of Glenwood Springs and the incident happened when she went to take the dog outside to potty.
“The incident occurred in an area of quality moose habitat and it is known that the moose frequent this area year-round,” Area Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita said, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the woman. This incident was no fault of her own. Conflicts with moose can happen, even when you follow best practices for living in moose habitat.”
She had seen the mother moose and her two calves earlier in the day and figured they were not around anymore, but that was an assumption she would later regret.
She took the dog outside on a leash in the yard believing it to be safe, however, the mother moose ran up to her without warning, trampled her, and gave her a severe stomping.
Another resident of the house witnessed the attack take place and alerted the authorities. The victim was quickly taken to a nearby hospital where she spent a few hours receiving medical care and then was transported by helicopter to another hospital.
The mother moose and her calves are well known in the area, along with other families of moose, and there has been no aggressive behavior ever reported. Police tried to locate the exact moose that injured the woman but were not able to differentiate the correct animal that attacked.
Wildlife officers said they are currently discontinuing an active search for the moose until they get new information.
“This likely was an incident of a cow protecting her calves,” Matt said. “Since Friday night we have been talking with the local residents to educate them about living in moose habitat, the potential dangers associated with interacting with moose and actions they can take to minimize the risk of conflict.”
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