GRAND LAKE, Colo. (KDVR) — Rescuing a moose calf from the exposed basement of a scorched Grand Lake home is just the latest chapter in a series of human-moose conflicts that have been increasing since last year.
In the early hours of Aug. 19, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Serena Rocksund was called to the Aspen Pine Estates neighborhood after it was reported that the calf had fallen into the four-foot-deep foundation of a house that was left exposed by the East Troublesome Fire.
Before Roscksund’s arrival, neighbors of the property had attempted to rescue the young moose by installing a makeshift ramp constructed of boards, but it was unable to gather enough traction to escape.
“It’s a good reminder that folks need to fence off foundations and cover their window wells because animals can get trapped and die,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington.
The calf’s agitated mother was patrolling nearby and would “walk over to the calf and touch muzzles” before meandering about 40 yards away.
Officer Rocksund tranquilized both the calf and its mother before relocating them to a “more suitable habitat” in nearby Craig to ensure that the moose would not return to the neighborhood, risking a repeat of the moose calf crisis.
“We’ve had some increased reports of human-moose conflicts near Grand Lake since the East Troublesome Fire burn,” said Huntington when outlining the recent rise in moose-human conflict in the region.
Hopefully, this win-win of a situation is just the first step in a deescalating of the current rise in unwanted moose encounters.
For more information on moose in Colorado, visit C.P.W.’s page on avoiding wildlife conflict.