SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — As record-setting heat arrives in parts of Colorado, many are looking for ways to stay cool. So, why not take a swim?
A Breckenridge resident and avid outdoorsman paddle boarding on Dillon Reservoir learned firsthand this isn’t just a human instinct when he found a moose swimming across the lake.
Jonathan Oetkin has seen moose on several occasions, mountain biking, eating his flowers at his house, even when one almost stomped on his friend.
“It just looked at my buddy and I was thinking I’m going to have to pull my buddy behind a tree real quick,'” said Oetkin.
But Oetkin’s recent encounter was one for the books. Paddle boarding on Lake Dillon with his girlfriend Lauren, Oetkin noticed something unusual on the water, a young bull moose going for a swim.
“It got in and started swimming,” said Oetkin.
With all the boating activity on the reservoir, Oetkin quickly realized the aqua-bound Alces Americanus could collide with watercraft.
“I did not want a speed boat to come along and take this moose out. Not to mention it would not be good for the boat,” said Oetkin.
He decided to provide the moose with an escort. But moose, Oetkin discovered, are pretty good swimmers.
“We were trying to pace ourselves with him, and he was cooking,” said Oetkin.
After about a mile swim and twenty minutes of paddle boarding with Bullwinkle on the reservoir, the mountain moose hit pay dirt.
“It shimmied the water off and kind of hung out in some willows and ate, probably worked up an appetite on that swim,” said Oetkin.
For the man who has had many experiences with mountain moose, now he has one more under his belt.
“Definitely one of the coolest,” said Oetkin.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, moose are excellent swimmers and very much at home in the water, which can be a good place to view them.