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Moose attack dogs in Alaska, prompting reminders in Colorado

DENVER (KDVR) – A Great moose attacking a fleet of sleds on a trail in Alaska over the weekend, leaving several dogs with serious injuries.

Although the attack did not happen in Colorado, many people have asked, “can this happen in Colorado?”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife “Yes, this type of incident can certainly happen in Colorado, and maybe not the exact same scenario, but it did happen,” said spokesman Jason Clay.

Clay said there have been four human-related elk attacks in 2021, and three of those attacks involved dogs as a catalyst in those attacks.

CPW says elk reacts to all dogs just as they do to wolves, one of their main predators, by trying to crush it with hooves. Because of this instinctive and aggressive response, CPW officials recommend keeping dogs on a leash and in control when reproducing in the countryside or considering leaving the dog at home.

“If you’re going to go anywhere in elk country, whether it’s hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, you need to be extremely vigilant about your surroundings,” says Clay. “If you come across a moose, it likely won’t back out of your way.”

If a moose charges you, here’s what CPW says you should do:

  • Run away as fast as possible
  • Stand behind a large tree, rock or other object
  • If you get knocked down, get up quickly
  • If injured, seek medical attention immediately
  • Report the incident to CPW as soon as possible

Clay says that the moose often walk along busy trails instead of the heavy snow next to the trails.

“We sometimes say that if you put your thumb out and you can cover the whole thing with your thumb, then in a lot of ways you are probably at a safe distance,” Clay said.

Moose typically respond to threats by raising two fingers to the nape of the neck, licking their muzzles and pinching their ears back, Clay said. They can swoop in at first, then turn around and charge forward, kicking and stomping on the threat with their sharp hooves and powerful forelegs.

https://kdvr.com/news/local/moose-attacks-dogs-in-alaska-prompting-reminder-in-colorado/ Moose attack dogs in Alaska, prompting reminders in Colorado

Tom Vazquez

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