Two moose spotted on I-70 in Vail |

Two moose spotted on I-70 in Vail

Scott N. Miller
Photo special to the DailyTwo moose, such as the one shown above in this file photo, were spotted in Vail this week. The animals are probably part of a herd that lives in the forest north of town.

VAIL – At first Jackie Ogden thought there were horses loose on Interstate 70 near the Vail Golf Course. As she drove closer, though, the horses turned into moose.A pair of moose, a male and a female, disrupted traffic on westbound I-70 for a few moments between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Tuesday. The moose ambled along the highway, then hopped a barrier and trotted off to the north.”I noticed cars braking,” said Ogden, a code enforcement officer at the town of Vail. “They didn’t seem to care.”With few natural predators, moose aren’t easily spooked. They can be aggressive if provoked, but will usually stand around – or refuse to change course – until they decide to move.

Vail Police officers responded to the area, and were able to get the moose off the highway, after which they ambled into the forest north of town. “We chased them off, but they didn’t scare,” Vail Police Sgt. Kurt Mulson said. Once off the road the animals may have rejoined a small herd that lives north of town.”It was my first moose sighting,” Ogden said. “It was really neat.”Moose are rare, but not unheard of in Eagle County. Most have been spotted in the eastern part of the county. While moose were spotted in Vail this week, at least a couple of bears have been spotted in Gypsum. Town officials say they’ve received calls from residents along York View Drive and River View Drive, which are probably the same bear. That bear has been rummaging through streetside trash cans. Another bear has been spotted in the Red Hill neighborhood.The answer to a neighborhood bear is changing a neighborhood’s trash habits, Molson said.

A couple of years ago, the Vail Town Council passed an ordinance requiring residents to put trash out only on the mornings the garbage truck comes. That relatively simple step has virtually eliminated bear complaints, Mulson said.”We used to get one or two bear calls a day,” Mulson said. “Now we get one or two a week. Just keep your trash inside.”

Moose were reintroduced to Colorado starting in 1978, with 12 animals moved from Wyoming to Jackson County, near Walden. There are nearly 1,000 moose in the state now. The shiras moose that live in Colorado: Can weigh 800 – 1,200 pounds Bulls can stand nearly six feet tall at the shoulderScott Miller reports on the town of Vail, Colorado, for the Vail Daily newspaper. He can be reached at or at (970) 949-0555 ext. 613.Vail, Colorado

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