Two moose were spotted this month in Silverthorne along the Blue River Trail near Silverthorne Town Hall and the North Branch Library, according to a town of Silverthorne news release.
The moose, a cow and her calf, have been seen peering into home windows, venturing through neighborhoods and last week reportedly had an altercation with dogs that were not on a leash. No injuries were reported, but local officials are reminding residents to be respectful and wary of wildlife that also call Silverthorne home.
According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website, moose have few natural enemies in the wild and do not consider humans to be a threat. However, they also are extremely curious animals and it is not uncommon for them to approach humans or houses.
Although moose are curious animals and may appear harmless, they have a reputation for attacking humans if cornered or caught by surprise, the website stated. Cows are especially protective of their calves and bulls can be particularly aggressive during breeding season in the fall — known as the rut — or if protecting their territory. There are reports of bulls injuring or killing livestock and attacking humans to defend feed yards and haystacks in their territory, according to Parks and Wildlife.
Should residents encounter moose in town or out on the trail, Parks and Wildlife officials recommend:
• Keeping dogs on a leash because the wolf is one of the moose’s only natural enemies and they can become aggressive around pets
• If encountering a moose in town or on a trail; stay calm, do not run away, talk, make noise and slowly back away
• Should a moose become aggressive and charge, try to cut off its path by putting oneself behind large objects, such as trees, boulders or even a car
• Always avoid all animals behaving belligerently or abnormally
At the end of the day, moose encounters with people are quite common and the animal actually causes few problems, according to Parks and Wildlife. However, moose have “treed” people who have approached them too closely, killed or injured pets and livestock and have chased people away from territories they are defending.
Caution and common sense go a long way in preventing potential problems with moose. For more information, visit Colorado Parks and Wildlife at www.wildlife.state.co.us.