Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Breckenridge Police Department have recently seen an increase in the number of moose encounters in the Breckenridge area, according to a joint news release.
Moose are an exciting wildlife viewing opportunity; however, they can be extremely dangerous if approached. Residents who encounter a moose are advised to keep their distance and keep dogs leashed. A person may be charged with harassment of wildlife if they intentionally get too close or allow dogs to harass or chase a moose, the release stated.
The Breckenridge Police Department and Parks and Wildlife offered the following tips to keep residents safe when encountering a moose:
• Enjoy the viewing opportunity from a distance
— Use binoculars, viewing scopes or a telephoto lens for a closer look.
• Do not approach moose
— Moose can be aggressive at any time, especially females with calves and males during the fall breeding season
• Keep pets away
— Moose do not tolerate dogs and will attack them aggressively because they resemble wolves, which are a moose’s primary natural predator
— Keep dogs on a leash or leave them at home
• Never feed moose
— It’s illegal and violators can be fined
— Human food is not healthy for any wildlife
Furthermore, a moose that sees and walks toward people slowly is not being friendly, the release stated. Beware of the following signs of moose aggression, including ears laid back, raised hairs on back and if it is licking its snout.
If a moose acts aggressively it is imperative to get away from it by backing away, create distance and look for an escape route. It’s also a good idea to give the moose an escape route as well, the release stated.
Prepare to run if the moose charges. If a moose does charge residents should try to put something between themselves and the animal, such as a tree, a car or a large boulder.
For additional information, visit cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlifeMoose.aspx or www.townofbreckenridge.com/index.aspx?page=1457.