Moose charges hiker in Idaho National Forest, officials say

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A moose (not the one pictured) charged and stomped on a hiker in Idaho, officials said.

PA

A moose was near a hiker and his dog — and they didn’t know until it was too late, Idaho officials said.

The hiker was walking his dog on a trail in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest south of Pocatello on Wednesday, March 9, when he encountered a moose.

“The hiker shared that he was unaware of the moose until the animal was already on him,” Idaho Fish and Game said in a March 10 news release. “To escape, he jumped off the trail into deeper snow, quickly covering his head with his arms.”

Even though the hiker tried to dodge the moose, the animal came charging at him. The moose stomped on the man up to three times before leaving, according to Fish and Game.

The hiker stayed in the snow before getting up. He was injured but was able to return to the trailhead on his own.

“The moose had moved towards the creek, keeping an eye on the hiker and his dog as they slowly passed the moose and returned to the trailhead parking lot,” officials said.

Conflicts between humans and moose are rare, but moose can become defensive if startled. Moose are also protective animals and will defend their territory and their young.

Moose are massive animals, weighing between 800 and 1,200 pounds. They can stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder, according to wildlife officials. They are “extremely curious” and want to check everything out.

If a moose starts to get aggressive, it could have floppy ears and erect hair on its neck, wildlife officials said, while another telltale sign is if the creature starts licking its muzzle. Hikers should keep pets away and avoid animals that act abnormally.

“Keep your distance, at least three car lengths between you and the animal. Never approach a moose, especially a female with her calf,” Idaho Fish and Game said. control your pets with leashes and do not allow them to hunt moose or other wildlife.”

Maddie Capron is a real-time McClatchy reporter specializing in the outdoors and wildlife in the western United States. She graduated from Ohio University and previously worked at CNN, the Idaho Statesman and the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism.

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