Moose tramples and injures Breckenridge woman
A Breckenridge woman who tried to shoo a moose away from the road was trampled and taken to a hospital for her injuries. The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. Saturday, March 28, on Quigley Court in Breckenridge.
Randy Hampton, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman for the northwest region, reported that the woman was transported to the hospital where she was interviewed by a wildlife manager. Based on witness reports, the wildlife manager said the woman saw the moose in the road as a car was trying to pass the moose. She then tried to shoo it away and was attacked by the moose.
“She was very close to the moose at that time,” Hampton said. “She was knocked down, trampled, received injuries and taken to the hospital.”
Parks and Wildlife officers went to the scene of the incident and found two moose in the area — two young bulls, one with antlers and one without. Based on the woman and other witnesses, it was determined that the moose without antlers was the one who attacked the woman. This moose was put down, which Hampton said is protocol if a person is attacked and injured.
Hampton said there have been two other recent moose encounters in the area, including the encounter between a woman and a moose that was caught on video in February.
“This was different from the video as it was a local resident,” Hampton said. “Most local residents know that these are big critters.”
Hampton explained that for the most part, moose tend to be fairly docile and tolerant of people. However, they are not afraid of people. Hampton said the best way to handle seeing a moose is to keep as much space between you and the animal as possible.
“If you bumped into your 900-pound drunk, angry neighbor, what would be the way you would handle that?” Hampton said. “You would give them some distance. That’s the best way to handle a moose.”
In wintertime, particularly moving into spring, is when Parks and Wildlife sees a lot of moose and human incidents, Hampton said. He explained that moose are pushed into valleys in the late winter and early spring because they are more protected from wind and out of the deep snow, but valleys are where people tend to live, which contributes to the rise in incidents. He added that in the early spring, people are more apt to get outside and may encounter moose. Hampton said that while people are currently practicing social distancing, this is always key with wildlife.
“Social distancing is always a good idea with moose,” Hampton said. “We may be practicing it now for other people, but social distancing with moose is always a good idea. They’re the original founders of social distancing.”
Parks and Wildlife recommends running away as fast as possible and trying to place an object between yourself and a moose if a moose happens to charge you.
Although this incident was with a local woman, Hampton said Summit County locals are usually familiar with best moose practices and that incidents typically occur between moose and visitors. Since Summit County is in a shutdown due to the new coronavirus, Hampton was hopeful that the lack of visitors would decrease moose incidents.
“The majority of the incidents that we deal with are people up from the cities, so hopefully this would slow down and we just have less of this,” Hampton said. “Less people, less crowds and less people that aren’t familiar with them.”
The incident is still under investigation, and anyone who witnessed Saturday’s moose attack is asked to contact the Parks and Wildlife office in Hot Sulphur Springs at 970-725-6200.