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Aggressive moose charges dog walker in Kananaskis Country

Dogs may prompt moose to become aggressive if they feel harassed or stressed.

An aggressive moose that charged a person walking their dogs in Kananaskis Country has forced a warning from Alberta wildlife officials for outdoor enthusiasts to be on high alert.

The warning went into effect for K-Country’s West Bragg Creek day-use area and Long Distance Trail on Friday (May 17) and will remain in place until further notice.

“A moose charged an individual walking their dogs,” according to the notice by Alberta Parks.

According to provincial wildlife officials, dogs may prompt moose to become aggressive if they feel harassed or stressed. The details of this specific case are not known at this point.

Moose will sometime go out of their way to kick at a barking dog because it is annoying them, causing them stress or distracting them from making an easy escape, according to the provincial government website.

“The moose may be extra defensive because dogs resemble wolves, moose’s main predator,” states the website.

Moose are not typically aggressive; however a moose that is stressed, such as a cow moose protecting her young in the spring time may be easily provoked into an attack.

It is strongly advised to never approach moose calves that have been left alone by their mothers. It is not known if there was a calf in the area.

“The mother may have temporarily left the calf in a safe spot and may not be too far away,” states the website.

“Moose mothers can also be very protective. If she senses that you are too near her calf, she may defend them.”

An agitated moose may show some of the following behaviours: neck and back hairs standing up, ears going back against its head, snorting, and lip licking.

It is recommended to always keep your distance from any wildlife, even if they appear calm or friendly.

What to do if charged by a moose

If you are charged by a moose, according to the Alberta government website, run away as fast as you can and try to find a car, tree or building to hide behind.

If the moose knocks you down before you reach safety, do not fight but rather curl up into a ball and cover your head.

To lessen the chances of a confrontation with a moose, Alberta Parks recommends people keep pets on a leash at all times; be aware of surroundings; keep a safe distance; yield to moose on the trail; and, never get between a cow and her calf.

Please report all aggressive moose encounters immediately to (403) 591-7755.



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