Two moose wander near man as he naps on the lawn in the middle of Breckenridge

Witnesses say the man was in a deep sleep as the two moose mosied around him near Blue River Plaza

A man sprawls out as he takes a nap on the lawn near the Riverwalk Center, unware that two moose passed right by him, on Monday, July 25, 2022.
Christie Stinger/Courtesy photo

Blue River Plaza is usually bustling with activity. It’s common to see people milling in and out of local shops, but on Monday, July 25, the center didn’t just have a human presence. A couple of moose showed up to mingle too. 

At around 4 p.m., witnesses saw a man taking a nap on the lawn near the Riverwalk Center just behind Blue River Plaza. It was around that same time when the two moose began walking up from the parking lot toward the Blue River right where the man was sprawled out. 

Sara Cox, owner of The Crown, was sitting on the shop’s back patio when she noticed the moose first, then the man. The Blue River native lives near Hoosier Pass, and she said she’s familiar with seeing the animals often. She said she understands how risky human-animal encounters can be. For that reason, she said she was hesitant to make a lot of noise. 

“Me and a couple people, we were unsure how to react,” Cox said. “We don’t want to startle the moose, but we were trying to wake the guy up by calling out to him. But he slept through the whole thing.” 

Christie Stinger said the same. She lives near Boreas Pass and had just left Marigolds Farmhouse Funk & Junk when she noticed the man first, then the moose. She immediately began taking photos as she watched the encounter. 

“I just have always heard not to startle them. It’s just common sense to me,” Stinger said. “Again, I didn’t want him to get up and catch their attention by moving too quickly, so I just didn’t say anything.” 

Both Stinger and Cox said during the entire five-minute encounter, the man never moved. The moose got close but neither of them ever sniffed him or got too close. Instead, they walked right along toward the Riverwalk Center and continued south along the river. 

Stinger said she eventually left to get a smoothie from a nearby coffee shop and that when she returned roughly 15 minutes later, the man was still napping. 

Cox said she eventually went up to the man and woke him to tell him what had happened. She said he had been wearing earbuds and that he seemed to be in a deep sleep. At first she said the man laughed at the encounter but that when she showed him the video, he turned serious.

The man did not return a request for comment before deadline.  

This isn’t the first time individuals have encountered moose this season. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, moose are not easily spooked and do not fear humans. It recommends that moose should not be surprised and that people should keep their distance.

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