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Sep 23, 2013 3:15 PM by Maddie Garrett

Moose sightings up; Wildlife experts explain why

It's something we're not used to seeing much of on the Front Range - moose sightings. But the numbers are up this year, with several of our News 5 viewers reporting seeing the animals out and about.

A decade ago, moose sightings would have been pretty rare in these parts of southern Colorado. But thanks to a re-population effort started in 1978, the animals are making a come back in the area. In fact, so far this year Parks and Wildlife officers said there have been a handful of sightings reported in Black Forest and Divide.

Another moose has become a bit more infamous, as he's been spotted roaming the neighborhoods of Broomfield, CO, for the past several weeks. Parks and Wildlife officers are asking people to just leave the moose alone, in hopes it'll eventually get bored and leave the area.

So why the increase in moose sightings? Parks and Wildlife said the floods might have a little bit to do with their movement. But actually, the more likely reason is just a growing population that's expanding into new habitats where food and water are plentiful.

"They are starting to come down to some of these closer to town areas, and what they're doing is following the food source," said District Wildlife Manager Sabrina Hurwitz of Colorado Springs.

Parks and Wildlife said moose are protective creatures and can be more aggressive toward humans, especially if there are dogs around.

"They're going to be protective of themselves and of their young, and if they feel like there is a threat in the area they could possibly attack and one of the problems we're seeing the most is people that are walking their dogs. Just don't get close to them and if they start to threaten you back away as quickly as possible," explained Hurwitz.

Hurwitz said some signs of aggression to look out for are a lowered head and tucked back ears. She said it's best to watch these creatures from afar, never try to get closer for a better look.



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