WINTER PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — Visitors to Colorado’s high country witnessed several moose sightings over the weekend.
A moose was spotted along Berthoud Pass, causing numerous traffic jams, while another ran down the slopes of Winter Park. Colorado Parks and Wildlife told FOX31 it’s unclear if it’s the same moose, but admitted these sightings are not uncommon, so it’s important to know how to respond.
“Wildlife calls Winter Park home, so they are present and occasionally wander onto the slopes and make an appearance,” said Jen Miller, a spokeswoman for Winter Park Resort.
Miller said the moose sighting near one of the ski lifts Saturday afternoon wasn’t the first, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. But when it happens, they are ready.
“The ski patrol has been alerted. They will monitor the trail or lift and close it to protect people and animals, to let them wander alone,” Miller said.
What to do if you see a moose
CPW’s Rachael Gonzales said moose are better equipped to stay at higher elevations during the winter.
“Moose are really big and they have really long legs, so they don’t need to move that far,” Gonzales said. “They can stay in some of these higher elevations, where the snow is deep, and still have access to the food they need to survive the winter.”
But despite their often docile behavior, Gonzales said moose can be dangerous if agitated.
“You’re going to watch his body language. Does he point to his ears? Does he lick or bite his lips? And those little ruckuses on the back of your neck are going to come up,” Gonzales said. “Also, if it goes back and forth.”
She advises those entertaining in the backcountry to pay attention and admire these animals from afar.
“If you see one and can take a photo from a distance, great. But if you don’t, again, your safety is not worth a viral photo,” Gonzales said.
During both sightings, no injuries were reported.
If a moose displays aggressive behavior or begins charging, Gonzales advises you to run as fast as possible and try to place large objects between you and the moose, such as a rock, car or tree. If you’re going out with a pet, CPW recommends keeping them on a leash.
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