A Jamestown woman was gardening when a moose attacked her, another woman and a dog earlier this month, and the incident has prompted renewed calls from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for people to be wary of the large animals.
“The woman and dog were in their own backyard, minding their own business and not doing anything wrong when this occurred,” Area Wildlife Manager Larry Rogstad said. “But even if you are not in the wilderness, sometimes the wildlife comes to you.”
Linda Lund, 64, told a Boulder County sheriff’s deputy that she was gardening on June 2 when she heard her dog barking. She turned and saw the moose — which had two calves with it — attacking her dog, and it attacked her when she ran toward her house, according to a police report.
The CPW stated in a news release that the moose “began stomping on” Lund.
Irene Rickortt, 60, who was inside the home, came outside upon hearing Lund screaming and was also attacked by the moose, which left the area after one of its calves ran away.
Lund and Rickortt — who couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday — suffered minor injuries, and a neighbor drove them to a hospital for treatment. The sheriff’s office report stated that Lund suffered a hoof scrape on her back and an ankle injury. Rickortt sustained a cut on her forehead and a circular injury on her eyebrow.
The moose and its calves left the area before police arrived and were never located.
Rogstad said that moose are large animals and aren’t afraid of most other animals, but they will perceive dogs as a threat because of an innate fear of wolves and will become extra protective of their young.
“That can have really serious consequences for the dog and the person trying to protect their dog,” he said. “The dog comes back to its owner for protection and that might bring the moose.”
The incident is the 15th moose/human conflict reported since 2013, according to CPW, and the second this month. A woman near Fraser was injured on Saturday after she let her dog run loose near willows — a typical moose habitat — and the moose charged her and stepped on her leg after she dropped to the ground. The moose was not located after the incident.
The woman told wildlife officers that she knew about the potential for conflict between dogs and moose but hadn’t expected to see a moose on private property.
Rogstad said that people living in mountain subdivisions — and people coming up into the mountains, for that matter — should be mindful of wildlife, particularly in the spring because many will be with their young.
He said that making enough noise so wildlife are aware of a person’s presence is a good idea, although that isn’t always helpful with moose because of their large size.
“They pretty much rule the woods,” he said. “They wander where they want to.”
He added that if a person comes into contact with a moose, he or she should give it as much room as possible and look out for the animal making noise, pulling its ears back, raising its hackles and dropping its head.
“Try to give the animal as much space as possible. It will be more comfortable, and the more comfortable it is, the less chance there is for it to become aggressive.”