Colorado wildlife authorities are reminding park visitors to keep their distance from wild animals after a moose trampled a hiker.
On Tuesday, two hikers with three dogs, all on their leashes, spotted a cow moose and its calf near the Crags Trail, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release.
The hikers said they were looking at the moose for some time and when they were done they tried to leave while maintaining distance from the animal but the moose kept moving closer to them, according to wildlife officials.
As the moose approached, one of the hiker’s dogs began barking, and that prompted the moose to come at the hikers, trampling one of them, wildlife officials said.
“They were able to get the moose off and tried to run away, but the moose continued to chase after them down the trail,” officials said.
The moose stopped chasing the hikers, giving them a chance to get into their car. The trampled hiker sustained minor injuries and was able to walk and go to the hospital for medical treatment, according to wildlife officials.
“This incident is a reminder of why we warn everyone to respect wildlife and give them their space,” Tim Kroening, wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region, said in a statement. “We know Colorado residents love their dogs. But understand that moose see dogs as predators and react in defense of themselves and their young.”
Kroening said the cow moose was exhibiting “classic protective behavior of its calf” and advised anyone in the backcountry to just give any wildlife raising their young some space and to ideally leave their dogs at home.
This is the third reportedon humans this year in Colorado, wildlife officials said.
In June, a man identified as longtime Coal Creek resident Rob Standerwick by the Fox affiliate KVDR told officials that he surprised a cow moose and her calf while rounding a hairpin turn in a trail along Coal Creek Canyon. The moose then charged the man and knocked him down before trampling him, “stomping him several times,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release.
Standerwick, who was armed, fired two shots into the ground to startle the moose, and she retreated, he told authorities. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for injuries not considered life-threatening.