Giant Bull Moose Found Loitering in Parking Garage

On Tuesday, a 750-pound bull moose was found loitering in a Vail parking garage. Though the moose was not acting aggressively, officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) tranquilized the moose and relocated him to an "appropriate habitat" near Craig.

Officials say that the moose was apprehended in a parking garage in Lionshead Village Tuesday morning; however, the moose had been spotted several times in nearby neighborhoods throughout the past month.

"Largely, most of these neighborhoods coincide with really optimal moose habitat, notwithstanding the fact, there are a lot of pedestrians and human activity," Wildlife Officer Devin Duval said in an official statement. "Moose are not fully concerned with that, they usually are unencumbered by the activity here in Vail."

Wildlife officers had been keeping a close eye on the moose throughout the month of July, and noticed that over the last 10 days, he started making frequent visits to the bottom level of the parking garage.

"He was pretty regularly coming into the parking structure first thing in the morning and then would kind of clear out before it got too busy," Duval said. "This is the primary parking place for the folks accessing Lionshead Village as well as the Vail Health hospital."

With a helping hand from @VailGov, @VailPolice & @VailFire, wildlife officers relocated this moose out of a parking structure in the Lionshead Village this morning. It will be released this afternoon in appropriate moose habitat outside of Craig.


— CPW NW Region (@CPW_NW) July 27, 2021

The moose was not acting aggressively, but officials say that he was becoming comfortable in the area and had no desire to leave. Not wanting the moose to become a permanent fixture in Lionshead Village, officials tranquilized the moose and relocated him to an appropriate habitat near Craig.

CPW shared a video of the encounter to the official Twitter account for their Northwest Region.

Vail Fire, Vail Police and members of the Town of Vail Public Works department helped CPW officers remove the moose from the parking garage.

Moose sightings weren't always common in Colorado, said CPW. But as a result of successful reintroduction efforts by CPW throughout the 1970s and '80s, their population has expanded. Now, officials say Colorado is home to nearly 3,000 moose.

Because their numbers are so high, limited hunting is offered in three different areas: North Park, Middle Park, and the Laramie River area. In 1995, the state legislature designated Walden as the "Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado."

Though moose-human interactions are fairly common in certain parts of Colorado, CPW says that moose tend to avoid causing problems. Of course, moose can be dangerous, so officials warn residents to give moose their space and keep pets away from the "formidable beasts," as they are easily agitated by other animals, especially dogs.

"Caution and common sense go a long way in preventing potential problems with moose," says CPW.

bull moose
A bull moose was recently spotted wandering around a Colorado parking garage. Experts tranquilized the moose and relocated it to an appropriate habitat. This is a stock image of a moose. Matt Dirksen/iStock