By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
An elderly woman was severely injured late last week when she was stomped by a cow moose in western Colorado, according to wildlife officials.
The 79-year-old woman was injured late Friday night in a rural area outside a home south of Glenwood Springs.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the woman was dog-sitting for one of the tenants living at the house when she saw an adult female moose and its two calves in the yard. When the woman no longer saw the moose in the area later that evening and believed it to be safe, she took the dog out on a leash in the yard.
That is when the attack occurred. Another resident of the house then observed the cow stomping on the victim.
The woman was taken to a local hospital and later that same night transported by helicopter to another hospital on the Front Range due to the extent of her injuries and care required.
“The incident occurred in an area of quality moose habitat and it is known that the moose frequent this area year-round,” Area Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the woman. This incident was no fault of her own. Conflicts with moose can happen, even when you follow best practices for living in moose habitat.”
The cow and its two calves have reportedly been in the area for an extended period of time without incident. No previous aggressive behavior has been reported.
Wildlife officers searched the area for the cow and its calves on Saturday, Sunday and into Monday. They were using photos and videos of the moose from residents recorded on the day of the attack to try and identify physical characteristics or traits that could be used to identify the correct animal involved in the incident.
Discussions with surrounding residents revealed that there are multiple sets of cows with calves in the area, making it challenging to locate the animal involved in the attack.
Wildlife officers have since discontinued an active search for the moose involved in the attack unless new information arises.
“This likely was an incident of a cow protecting her calves,” Yamashita said. “Since Friday night we have been talking with the local residents to educate them about living in moose habitat, the potential dangers associated with interacting with moose and actions they can take to minimize the risk of conflict.”
Earlier this month, a man walking along a willow bottom heading toward a lake in central Colorado was charged by a bull moose he just happened to come across. That man came away uninjured as he dived behind a tree, which the bull moose hit.
In late May in Steamboat Springs, a man was knocked onto his back and stomped by a cow moose with two calves.
The victim stated that his small dog was outside unleashed when he heard it start barking and realized there was a moose in the area. He stepped forward to grab the dog and that is when the moose charged at him. That man was examined for minor injuries on site.
Fifteen years ago on March 26, 2006, a man from Grand Lake was attacked and critically injured by a bull moose as he walked to church. That man died from his injuries a couple weeks later.