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Utah DWR reminds public of wildlife safety tips after moose injures hiker

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Posted at 8:51 PM, Sep 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-13 22:51:38-04

PARK CITY, Utah — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is reminding hikers and other outdoor recreators of some key safety tips after a woman was injured by a startled moose.

The DWR says the woman was hiking with her family and dogs Sunday afternoon on the Bloods Lake Trail, located up Guardsman Pass.

They came across a bull moose that was lying down, and the dogs — which were on leashes — startled it. The moose ran away, but in the process brushed past the woman and knocked her down. She fell and hit her head and was taken to Heber Valley Hospital by ambulance to be treated for her injuries.

The DWR says moose can be aggressive — cows with calves generally during the spring and summer, and bulls especially during the fall breeding season.

The animals may become aggressive when they feel threatened, which can be caused by encounters with humans and dogs. They are sometimes known to charge people or pets, knock them down and stomp on them.

The DWR gave the following physical warning signs that a moose may become aggressive:

  • Lowering their head
  • Hair standing up on the neck
  • Licking their snout
  • Pinning their ears back

They also gave some safety tips in case of a moose encounter:

  • On a trail, give the moose a lot of space and watch its behavior.
  • Do not approach or feed a moose.
  • Keep dogs leashed and under control at all times. Moose can be very aggressive around dogs. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to chase or harass wildlife.
  • Back off if a moose exhibits any signs of aggression.
  • Stay calm. Do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back off in the direction you came.
  • If a moose charges you or chases you, hide behind something solid (like a tree) or try to get inside a vehicle or building.
  • If a moose knocks you down, curl into a ball, protect your head and lie still until the moose retreats.

Visit wildawareutah.org for more information and safety advice.