92-year-old attacked by moose
DENVER ” A 92-year-old man who was attacked by a bull moose while walking to church in a small mountain town was upgraded to serious condition on Monday.
Authorities said the adult moose attacked Louis Heckert on Sunday in Grand Lake, a resort village of about 500 year-round residents 50 miles northwest of Denver on the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.
The nature of Heckert’s injuries was not disclosed. He was taken to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, where he was first listed in critical condition.
The moose was shot and killed by a state Division of Wildlife officer, agency spokesman Randy Hampton said.
Hampton said the attack appeared to have been unprovoked but the moose had serious injuries from some previous accident, which could have contributed to his behavior.
“We suspect it probably did but there’s just no way to know,” Hampton said.
The moose had five broken ribs on his right side, a punctured chest cavity and several separated vertebrae, Hampton said. He said officers did not know what caused the injuries but it could have been a collision with a vehicle.
The animal appeared to be 5 or 6 years old. He was not weighed, but Hampton said a bull moose of that age could weigh about 800 pounds.
Moose can be aggressive, but such attacks are rare, Hampton said.
“They’re big animals. They’re not afraid of people,” he said.
Aggressive behavior toward humans is more common when cow moose are protecting their young in the summer or during the mating season in late summer or fall, he said.
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