COAL CREEK CANYON, CO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is investigating a report of a moose attack that occurred Monday morning.
According to CPW, a man was walking his dogs by Coal Creek when he was trampled.
The man, who was in his late 50s, told CPW officers that as he approached a hairpin turn in the trail near Hummingbird Lane, he surprised a cow moose and her calf. The moose then charged and knocked the man down, before stomping on him repeatedly.
The man was armed at the time and was able to fire two shots into the ground to startle the moose. The moose and calf were unharmed after the interaction and left the area, according to the victim.
The two dogs were also uninjured as they were off-leash, but the man was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
CPW officers searched Coal Creek Canyon for the moose and calf but were unable to find them.
Colorado's moose population is healthy and thriving with an estimated 3,000 statewide. This makes it very important to remember that during late spring and early summer, cow moose can be aggressive while their calves are young.
Calves are usually born during a three to four-week period starting from the end of May and extending to the middle of June.
Moose can often view dogs as threats so keep your dogs leashed while hiking and give moose extra space on trials to decrease your risk of having a negative encounter.
According to CPW, hikers should also do their best to avoid thick willow near the banks of streams or rivers as these common areas are where moose like to eat and rest.