When in the wild, knowing how to properly deal with an animal can save lives—yours and theirs. Moose have a not-unmerited reputation for having short tempers. After all, moose injure more people in North America than just about any other large mammal. But proper knowledge and preparation can help people avoid most of these incidents.
For instance, wildlife experts advise never approaching any moose no matter how docile it may seem. These are large animals weighing upwards of many hundreds of pounds and can easily hurt comparatively squishy humans. A moose that is walking toward you is not signifying an interest to be touched or photographed. Rather, it is likely a warning. Moose signal an impending attack commonly by stomping their feet, laying their ears back against their heads, or behaving aggressively. Unlike with predators, running is usually a pretty good strategy as moose are unlikely to give chase for long. When unable to escape, try hiding behind a tree or another obstacle. If worst comes to worst and the moose knocks you down, curl up in a ball and try to protect your head.
Keep in mind that cow moose may be more aggressive in late spring and early summer, while bull moose can be dangerous during the fall breeding season.
In the below video, a snowmobiler and his friend runs afoul of a young moose. The animal obviously doesn’t seem keen on moving out of the way, and when approached, launches an attack at the snowmobiler’s chest. What follows is a number of shots fired from a handgun that downs the large animal.
While the snowmobiler certainly could have behaved differently, the incident has sparked a debate on whether the shooting was justified or if the man should face charges. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
Edit: For now, we have very little information on this incident beyond what is shown in the video. OutdoorHub will be updating this post with more specifics as we receive them.
WARNING: The video below contains some graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.