Video footage of an encounter between a dog and moose in the Crested Butte area provides another example of why it's important to keep canines leashed while exploring Colorado.
The video captures an unaccompanied dog barking at an annoyed moose on a snowy trail, with the moose periodically charging to scare the dog away, only for the dog to return. One witness said that the dog was harassing the moose for close to two hours before owners stepped in.
A video of the encounter can be found below:
KDVR reports that one of the dog's owners was initially with the dog, but unable to control it by herself. She left the scene, later returning with her husband who was able to help get the dog under control.
While this situation is a great example of wildlife harassment – a crime that tends to carry a fine of around $275 in Colorado – it's also a good example of why dogs must be kept under control in the backcountry for their own safety, too. Moose tend to view dogs as threats, often responding aggressively when approached by a canine. In one October incident, a moose trampled a dog to death in Summit County while it was on a hike with its owners.
If you happen to encounter a moose in the wild, keep your distance. If it starts to alter its behavior or display signs of aggression, leave the scene as fast as you can. Moose are known for charging when they feel threatened, with antlers and hooves that can easily maim any target.
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