28 May 2011

"Assume every moose is a serial killer"

The embedded image is tongue-iin-cheek, but the warning is real:
Caren della Cioppa remembers the thundering roar of hooves behind her, just before a cow moose slammed her to the ground as she cleared a trail on her Alaska property.

The massive animal – her newborn twin calves nowhere to be seen – pounced again, stomping on the fallen woman before tearing into the woods. Della Cioppa could barely breathe as she punched 911 on her cell phone.

State troopers had just arrived when the enraged moose stormed back, jumped over della Cioppa, and charged toward the two officers, who opened fire...

Jessy Coltrane, an Anchorage-area state wildlife biologist, said moose are not predators and charge only when they feel threatened or their personal space is trespassed. But that distance that can vary widely from moose to moose, Coltrane said.

"The best practice around moose is to go away around a moose. Assume every moose is a serial killer standing in the middle of the trail with a loaded gun," said Coltrane, urging people to treat them with more respect.
While researching this post, I discovered that Wikipedia has a list of fictional deer, moose and reindeer (see how many you can name before clicking the link).


  1. Good lord.

    Out of ignorance, i neglected to list the moose in my list of North American animals the frighten me... I now know better!

  2. I was born and raised in Alaska. Moose are mostly docile, especially the urban moose of Anchorage. However, there are a few times a moose is extremely dangerous:

    1) When a mother moose has a calf around. If you cross between her and the calf, you are going to be attacked.

    2) When a male moose is in heat. They are extremely unpredictable and crazed. I've been charged by one of these.

    3) When a moose is spooked. An idiot biker rode right past a calf (whose mom was nearby). The calf jumped in the air, turned around, and charged right at me. Thankfully the charge was a feint and the mom did not see. Several moose fatalities in Alaska have been due to a moose pestered by people or dogs, or simply being startled.

    They are gentle, majestic creatures, but they are wild animals and as such can be dangerous.

  3. Yes, moose are herbivores, but they are also the biggest creatures in the woods. This leads to arrogance.


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