Wildlife

HEADS UP: Bull moose charges man and dog in Pinebrook Park

PARK CITY, Utah — Many community members were enjoying a nice summer day in Pinebrook Park this past Sunday when a large bull moose came out of the bushes and entered the Park Area.

Scott with Park City Best City was spending time at the park playing with his dog when the moose made its appearance. He captured this footage just after yelling to the park that the moose was there, and making its way towards several people.

The eyewitness said most people at the park were in shock and not sure what to do with the large bull moose walking towards them. At one point the animal came within 20 feet of a solo male park goer on his phone, before changing its attention to a white dog and a man.

The moose charged at the dog and then cornered the man behind a tree while making some aggressive charges and then existing the park. Fortunately, no one was injured in this encounter. However, we all need to remember that living in the mountains comes with the responsibility of being wildlife aware.

A similar encounter took place at Pinebrook Park in 2021, when a moose charged at a teenager.

According to Faith Heaton Jolley, public information officer for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, bull moose, like the one pictured, can be aggressive during the breeding season, which typically takes place from September to October.
“People should report a moose that has wandered into lower-elevation areas and is within city limits or heavily-populated areas, so we can relocate the animal,” Jolley said. “If moose aren’t relocated, they can stay in an area for a long time and potentially injure someone or damage property. Urban environments, which include fences and vehicles, can be unsafe for moose. People should avoid approaching moose or attempting to “herd” them out of yards or roads. Moose can be very aggressive, especially around dogs. “
To report a moose that has wandered into city limits, contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Here are some tips from Wild Aware Utah on what to do if you encounter a moose.

Know moose behavior

A moose can run up to 35 miles per hour! They are active both day and night, but peak activity occurs near dawn and dusk. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Cows with calves can be aggressive in the spring.
  • Bull moose may be especially aggressive during the fall breeding season.
  • Do not approach or feed a moose.
  • Keep dogs leashed and under control at all times. Moose can be very aggressive around them. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to chase or harass wildlife.

Some physical warning signs that a moose may become aggressive include:

  • Lowering their head
  • Hair standing up on the neck
  • Licking their snout
  • Pinning their ears back

If you encounter a moose

  • On a trail, give it a lot of space and watch its behavior.
  • Back off if it exhibits any signs of aggression, such as the hair standing up on their neck, snout licking, or ears back.
  • Stay calm. Do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back off in the direction you came.
  • If it charges you or chases you, hide behind something solid, such as a tree.
  • If it knocks you down, curl into a ball, protect your head and lie still until it retreats.

 

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