Elderly Woman Hospitalized After Moose Attack

A 79-year-old woman was hospitalized on Friday after being brutally attacked by a female moose (cow) outside of her home. Later that same night, she was transferred by helicopter to a different hospital due to the severity of her injuries.

According to an official press release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the woman was dog sitting for a friend during the time of the attack. Officials said she saw the moose and its two calves in the yard earlier that day; however, the moose eventually disappeared. Believing the area to be safe, she took the dog outside. Unfortunately, that's when the attack occurred.

Wildlife officials said that a resident of the home witnessed the moose stomp on the woman.

"This likely was an incident of a cow protecting her calves," Area Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita Yamashita said in the release. "Since Friday night we have been talking with the local residents to educate them about living in moose habitat, the potential dangers associated with interacting with moose and actions they can take to minimize the risk of conflict."

Though the cow and her calves have been living in the area for a while, no previous aggressive behavior has been reported. Still, wildlife officials tried to locate the offending moose. But because other moose live in the area with their own calves, identifying the offending moose presented itself as a challenge. Unless new information arises, officials have abandoned their search.

"The incident occurred in an area of quality moose habitat and it is known that the moose frequent this area year-round," said Yamashita. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the woman. This incident was no fault of her own. Conflicts with moose can happen, even when you follow best practices for living in moose habitat."

On its website, CPW warns that moose can become aggressive around animals, which is perhaps what triggered the cow to attack the elderly woman. If a moose displays aggressive behavior or begins to charge, officials tell individuals to run and hide behind a large object, such as a boulder or tree.

Earlier this month, a bystander saved his own life by hiding behind a tree after a moose charged him.

In a video shared by CPW on August 8, a peaceful encounter between a bull moose and a curious onlooker quickly turned violent when the moose, at the last second, decided to charge at the person recording the video.

Though CPW officials said on Twitter the person was "too close" to the moose, they told Newsweek: "The thing this person did correctly was get right behind a tree when that moose charged. Moose are Colorado's biggest wild animal, and its most dangerous."

Cow moose
According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, if a moose displays aggressive behavior or begins to charge, individuals should run and hide behind a large object, such as a boulder or tree. Stock image of a cow moose with her yearling calf. cuphoto/iStock