According to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, a cow moose charged two people and a dog near Nederland's West Magnolia Trailhead on Wednesday morning, resulting in 'serious bodily injury', to a 31-year-old male.
After a deputy arrived on scene to locate the victims of the attack, he was pursued their yells when he was also approached by the moose. He initially fired bean bag rounds at the animal, which were effective at scaring the moose off.
The deputy was then able to locate the injured group. In addition to the man's more serious injuries, the woman involved had sustained minor injuries. The dog was also injured, though details about the extent of those injuries were not released.
As the deputy offered assistance, the moose approached again and the deputy fired a warning shot near the animal. This resulted in the moose leaving the scene for a second time.
As the injured male was being evacuated to the trailhead by deputy and medics, the moose returned again. It continued to charge at people, creating a dangerous situation, and forced the deputy to shoot and kill the animal.
This is the third moose attack in two weeks in Colorado and while this attack remains under investigation, attacks on May 26 and May 31 were attributed to a cow exhibiting defensive behavior over nearby offspring. During this time of the year, birthing is common, making dangerous defense responses more likely.
To avoid encountering a moose, steer clear of thick willows, often found in riparian areas near water sources. If you do encounter a moose, distance yourself from the animal. If it attacks, try to escape, also working to put obstacles between you and the moose. It's also important to keep dogs on a leash or at home when in moose country, as moose can violently target canines, sometimes killing them, as was the case in an attack last October.
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