By Danielle Chavira

NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers found the moose calf left orphaned after its mother charged at a couple and their dog and was subsequently shot and killed by a CPW officer. CPW says they found the 3-day-old calf near the West Magnolia Trailhead on Wednesday night.

(credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Earlier that same morning, a man, woman and their dog started hiking at the West Magnolia trailhead when they were surprised by a cow moose and her calf.

The cow moose charged at the group and stomped on the man. It retreated when a CPW officer responded and shot it with bean bags. The moose and calf retreated, but later returned to the same spot twice.

(credit: CBS)

The officer shot it again with bean bags a second time, but then resorted to deadly force the final time, and the calf ran away.

CPW says its veterinarians are looking after the calf, but it’s hard to tell how much nutrition she got before her mother died. They plan to study her growth and development. Officials say a typical calf is born at around 30 lbs. and gains two pounds per day. By October, when its mother prepares to breed again, it can weigh as much as 400 lbs.

Danielle Chavira