DENVER (KDVR) — A female moose calf is being cared for by Colorado Parks and Wildlife veterinary staff following an attack that occurred on Wednesday.
The orphaned moose is likely less than three days old and was captured near the West Magnolia Trailhead after a cow moose injured two people and a dog.
A Boulder County Sheriff’s Office deputy was searching for the injured parties when a cow moose appeared. The deputy fired bean bag rounds and scared it off. It returned a second time while the deputy was with the injured people and fled after a warning shot. The moose then returned a third time while the deputy and medics were helping the injured people to the trailhead and charged. That’s when the deputy shot and killed the animal.
“They want you out of their space, they don’t want you around in their presence,” CPW Public Information Officer Jason Clay said.
A 31-year-old man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, but luckily a woman was minorly injured. Their dog was injured during the attack, as well.
The orphaned female calf’s chances for survival are unknown as it required much-needed nutrients and antibodies from its mother.
The wildlife team caring for the moose will use her growth and development for CPW’s educational purposes.
“Moose calves are born in a 3-4 week period from the end of May to mid-June. They weigh between 28-35 pounds at birth and within the first hour of life, begin nursing. They start to take solid food a few days after birth, CPW wrote in a release. “During their first five months, while suckling and foraging, calves will gain about two pounds of weight per day and by October can reach weights of 385-400 pounds and will be upwards of 700 pounds by age two. Calves are generally weaned in the fall at the time the mother is breeding again. An adult cow moose will weigh around 800 or 900 pounds.”
CPW is investigating what caused the cow moose to attack but Clay said there were four moose attacks involving humans last year, and three of them involved dogs as a catalyst.