WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Did I overstate the potential danger posed by loveable-looking moose in today's Outdoors column?
I think not, despite what a few readers said in email comments. I have video proof you can view at the end of this post.
First, check out this message from Cameron Hughes, who learned to respect moose for their size and dicey dispositions while living in Alaska:
Your "moose issues" article will hopefully help to enlighten some of the general public to leave moose alone!
I certainly understand the difficult decisions that the F&W Officers face when confronted with a "problem" moose and in my opinion, the event in Fairfield was initiated by a number of people who don't understand the big picture of a habituated moose.
I lived in AK for about 18 years, 6 of which were in Anchorage, where moose are ubiquitous during the winter months. I was there when two people were killed by moose in the city. One being the infamous video of when an individual was entering the UAA Sports center and was stomped to death by an agitated moose. Coincidentally, I had entered and left that same door into the UAA sports center with my two young children earlier that day to watch the UAA hockey team practice. Fortunately, the moose wasn't around at the time I was there. If it had been, I would have chosen another exit.
Point is, the people of Anchorage had learned to leave, for the most part, the moose alone and to avoid them as much as possible. I suppose seeing a moose wasn't a novelty as it is around here. I drilled it into my son and daughter's head that when playing outside and a moose wanders into the neighborhood to come back in the house immediately until the moose had moved on.
While living in Western AK, the Eskimos in the area had a greater fear, or perhaps a better word would be respect, of moose than they did of grizzly bears. I think that tells one something about the possible danger posed by a moose.
This video graphically illustrates why all moose should be given a wide berth:
Video illustrates the hazard of being with a loose dog in moose country. This guy was lucky.
Some moose will run when approached, others will charge, as this moron discovers.
Avoid all of these dangerous learning experiences by reading the guidelines for coexisting with moose on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
- See the Feb. 18 warning on the Liberty Lake Police Facebook page after officers caught local kids throwing rocks and sticks at a moose.