CPW officers seek public's help in wildlife harassment incident - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

CPW officers seek public's help in wildlife harassment incident

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking for the public's help in a third incident from over the past week involving wildlife harassment.

CPW reported two wildlife incidents from over the weekend in Summit County involving approaching or feeding moose. Both incidents included video and photos which were forwarded to Colorado Parks and Wildlife by the public.

A photo of a man standing next to an agitated moose in Frisco was released last Friday, as it made its rounds on social media. Wildlife officers quickly received tips on the identity of the man and later learned he was detained by police for reports of "erratic behavior."

That same Friday, a woman from Summit County posted a video of herself feeding a moose through the window of her car. The woman immediately received harsh public backlash on social media and took the video down. CPW said the woman was contacted and written a citation for illegal feeding of wildlife. 

Officials said social media helps to play a key role in these types of incidents as many people learned about the dangers in feeding or approaching moose in public comments. 

"If high-profile cases like this serve to spread the word, whether through social media or the grapevine, that alone has accomplished much of what we are trying to do to inform the public," said District Wildlife Manager Elissa Slezak. "It was encouraging to see how many local folks are already aware of the dangers relating to moose, so there is definitely some community self-policing going on."

In these types of situations, Slezak says it is the agency's priority to educate the public in preventing human injuries or even death. Citations will be issued to those involved in these types of incidents, as it is illegal to feed wildlife. 

"It's not only unethical and irresponsible to feed and harass wildlife, it's also illegal," she said. "We will enforce our wildlife laws." 

In a third incident from over the weekend, CPW received a video of two young men approaching and trying to touch a moose in Frisco three weeks ago. In the video, the moose kicks one of the men with its front leg. 

"That video is disturbing because the moose appears to actually strike the individual," said Slezak. "That could have easily led to a severely injured young man and we would have had to put that moose down."

Slezak says she hopes the public can help to identify the individuals involved. Anyone with information can remain anonymous by calling Operation Game Chief Thief at (877) 265-6648. Rewards are available if the information leads to an arrest or citation. 

For more information on living with wildlife responsibly, visit the CPW website

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