GRAND LAKE, Colo. - A 60-year-old woman was injured by a cow moose near Grand Lake, prompting Colorado Parks and Wildlife to remind the public about the dangers of approaching the animals.
The woman was walking her dog along County Road 4721 and got as close as 10 feet to the cow and its calf before the moose charged and knocked her to ground. The injured woman was taken to Granby Medical Center and then later transported to St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood.
"It's an unfortunate situation for the victim in this case, and we hope she has a quick recovery," said Area Wildlife Manager Lyle Sidener of Hot Sulphur Springs. "This is a reminder that approaching these large animals can in certain situations be dangerous."
Due to an abundance of caution for human health and safety, wildlife officials euthanized the cow and calf.
"People should remember that approaching wildlife often puts the animal at risk as well," added Sidener.
Moose do not differentiate dogs from wolves -- their natural predator -- and will instinctively attempt to stomp them in self-defense. If the dog runs back to its owner for safety, it can bring an angry, thousand pound moose with it, putting people at risk as well, according to Parks and Wildlife.
Late spring is calving season and cow moose will aggressively protect their young. Wildlife officials advise that people watch all wildlife from a distance with binoculars or a scope. In addition, people should keep their dogs on leashes at all times, especially in areas where moose are common.
Grand Lake made headlines recently after several national news organizations reported on a local bull moose's seemingly amorous attention to a large statue of a bull moose located within city limits.
"We have heard reports of people coming as close as 20 feet to take a picture of this bull," said Sidener. "Many people see it as a curiosity, however we caution the public to give it plenty of space or it may feel threatened and could react."
For more information about living with wildlife, go to www.bit.ly/livingwithwildlife.
For more information about how to safely enjoy moose, visit www.bit.ly/watchingmoose