COLORADO SPRINGS – The moose population is doing very well in Colorado. The human population is as well, but that’s posing a new problem. Moose attacks.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are responding to the growing concerns about the interactions with a new video about how people can stay safe and be responsible around the large animals.
The six-minute CPW production features District Wildlife Manager Elissa Slezak of Summit County offering information about how to prevent conflicts with moose. Last May, Slezak, and her community found themselves in the spotlight after several high profile incidents that involved people either harassing or feeding moose.
Slezak says people can enjoy watching moose if done properly and from a safe distance, but based on her experience, too many people are uninformed about moose behavior and frequently get too close. She says the animals do not fear humans, so some people seem to think that it means moose are friendly.
Many people get into trouble because moose appear docile at first and don’t run away when people approach, but when a moose has decided you’ve invaded their space they can move very fast and it’s often too late to get away.
Moose typically respond to threats by raising their hackles on the back of their neck, licking their snout and pinning their ears back. They may bluff-charge at first, then turn back and charge aggressively, kicking and stomping the threat with their sharp hooves and powerful front legs.
Keep in mind that any time a wild animal injures a human, a CPW officer must put the animal down to protect public safety, regardless of the circumstances.
CPW suggests you watch the video, read the info their website and follow the recommendations to protect yourself, and others around you.