DENVER (KDVR) — Janne Schultz has quite the story to tell.
The 79-year-old woman was attacked — unprovoked — by a moose earlier this month.
“I was hit by a moose. That was big. And heavy. And he didn’t like me,” Schultz said.
Unprovoked moose attacks are extremely rare, and it may have been because the cow was trying to protect her calves from a dog.
‘I thought it was a human being’
Schultz has been hospitalized at Denver Health for the last week-and-a-half after she took a dog for a walk in a rural area south of Glenwood Springs on Friday, Aug. 13.
Earlier that day, Schultz said she saw the cow and calves nearby. She thought they had moved on, so she ventured out — and was soon under attack.
“You know what? I thought it was a human being first. I said, ‘Oh, god, are there bad people up here, too?’ But then I realized it was the moose,” Schultz said.
About 3,000 moose make a home here in Colorado. They rarely attack humans. But when they do, it’s often because people get too close to them — and on occasion, try to pet them.
Schultz did the right thing by waiting for the moose to move along. That’s why she was so surprised when the thousand-pound animal started stomping on her.
“I thought to myself, ‘This is it. This is it,” Schultz recalled.
Thankfully, it wasn’t it. The moose ran off, and Schultz was flown to Denver Health with nine broken ribs, a cracked collar bone, a shattered scapula and a fractured vertebrae.
‘She’s defied all of our expectations’
Dr. Fred Pieracci got to work. He’s one of a few doctors who doesn’t let broken ribs heal on their own but instead plates them with titanium to take the pain away.
At the same time, another surgeon shored up her collarbone.
“She looks better than I do, and probably feels better,” Pieracci said. “She’s defied all of our expectations.”
“I’m very grateful for what has been done here and my life today,” Schultz said.
She should be headed home any day now. And if she ever sees said moose again, she has a few choice words for it: “the bastard.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said they stopped searching for the cow about a week ago, partly because there are so many moose with calves in that area.