GRAND LAKE, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman from Grand Lake has returned home from the hospital after being trampled by a moose near her home on Tuesday.
The woman’s encounter is a reminder that moose can turn violent if they feel threatened.
The woman was walking her dog home from a neighbor’s house on County Road 4721 and got too close to a cow moose and her 1-week-old calf.
“It just basically ran her over and knocked her to the ground,” said Lyle Sidener, a spokesman for Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
After Tuesday’s incident the woman was brought to a hospital in Granby and then transferred to a hospital in the Denver metro area. She was released on Thursday after being treated for unknown injuries.
It seems the incident was unprovoked, but the two moose were put down because of it.
“Moose see dogs as a threat. Their natural predators are wolves and they perceive any dog as a threat like that,” said Sidener.
Sidener said both animals had to be killed because there could be even more risk to humans.
“Maybe she’s decided that’s how she’s going to handle people when they are around her calf,” Sidener said. “If that next person is a toddler and we’re dealing with more serious injuries or even a death that would be the worst possible scenario.”
Wildlife officials told CBS4 moose can’t be rehabilitated and that the calf would have died in a matter of hours on its own.
Moose often get close to people in the Grand Lake and Granby areas of Grand County. Over Memorial Day weekend there were nearly a dozen moose calls to Parks & Wildlife, and wildlife managers are concerned the human interaction could be even more dangerous this summer.
“They are a big animal and they can always pose a threat. This time of year cows have calves and they are going to be protective of them,” Sidener said.
Wildlife experts say if you encounter a moose you should back away slowly and put something between you and a moose — such as a tree or rock — to keep from getting trampled.