Moose severely injures Garfield County woman

A cow moose on Guanella Pass. Colorado Parks and wildlife announced on Aug. 17 that a woman in Garfield County was severely injured by a cow moose on Aug. 13. (Jason Clay/CPW)

A 79-year-old woman was attacked by a cow moose and severely injured on Friday, Aug. 13, around 9 p.m. in a rural area outside a home south of Glenwood Springs.

The victim was taken to a local hospital and later that same night transported by helicopter to another hospital on the Front Range due to the extent of her injuries and care required.

The woman, who was dog-sitting for one of the tenants living at the house, had seen a cow moose and its two calves in the yard earlier in the day. When the woman no longer saw the moose in the area later that evening and believed it to be safe, she took the dog out on a leash in the yard.

That is when the attack occurred. Another resident of the house then observed the cow stomping on the victim.

“The incident occurred in an area of quality moose habitat and it is known that the moose frequent this area year-round,” said Area Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the woman. This incident was no fault of her own. Conflicts with moose can happen, even when you follow best practices for living in moose habitat.”

The cow and its two calves have reportedly been in the area for an extended period of time without incident. No previous aggressive behavior was reported.

Wildlife officers searched the area for the offending cow and its calves on Saturday, Sunday and into Monday. They were utilizing photos and videos of the moose from residents the day of the attack to try and identify physical characteristics or traits that could be used to differentiate the correct animal involved in the incident.

Discussions with surrounding residents revealed that there are multiple sets of cows with calves in the area, making it challenging to locate the animal involved in the attack. Wildlife officers have since discontinued an active search for the moose involved in the attack unless new information arises.

“This likely was an incident of a cow protecting her calves,” Yamashita said. “Since Friday night we have been talking with the local residents to educate them about living in moose habitat, the potential dangers associated with interacting with moose and actions they can take to minimize the risk of conflict.”

On Saturday, Aug. 7, a man walking along a willow bottom heading towards a lake in Clear Creek County was charged by a bull moose he just happened to come across. The viral video shows just how quickly a moose can decide to charge on a person. That man came away uninjured as he dived behind a tree, which the bull moose hit.

On May 29 in Steamboat Springs, a man was knocked over on his back and stomped by a cow moose with two calves. The victim stated that his small dog was outside unleashed when he heard it start barking and realized there was a moose in the area. He stepped forward to grab the dog and that is when the moose charged at him. That man was examined for minor injuries on site.

On March 26, 2006, a man from Grand Lake was attacked and critically injured by a bull moose as he walked to church. That man later died from his injuries on April 6.

CPW produced a video illustrating how people can be safe and responsible around moose. The video is available on YouTube.

To learn more about living with moose, visit cpw.state.co.us

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