WILDLIFE

The dangers of coming into contact with a moose this month

Jun 5, 2024, 8:00 AM | Updated: 9:34 am

Moose and two calves...

A mother moose walks with her two calves (Utah Department of Wildlife Resources)

(Utah Department of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — This month may be the most dangerous time of the year to come in contact with one of Utah’s nearly 3,000 moose.

As the weather heats up and more people get outdoors, The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources warns moose may be more aggressive right now.

“June is actually also the time for moose in particular when they are having calves,” said Faith Heaton Jolley, spokesperson for the DWR. “So the cow moose can get particularly defensive and territorial when they do have their babies.” 

Jolley says if you see a moose, you should back away slowly.

“Stay calm, don’t run away,” Jolley said. “Make your presence known and slowly back away in the direction that you came. If the moose does attempt to charge you or chase after you, we actually recommend you hide behind something solid.”

What if your dog comes into contact with a moose?

Jolley said to take extra care if you are bringing your dog on your outdoor adventures. She recommends keeping them leashed, even if you are not required to. Moose view dogs as natural predators. Coming in contact with a dog is a lot more likely to make a moose charge or act aggressively.

Moose normally live in the forested areas at higher elevations. Particularly they live along the Wasatch Front, in northern Utah and the northeastern part of the state. If you see a moose at lower elevations or in urban areas, the DWR says you should report it.  By doing so, they can relocate it for everyone’s safety. Jolley says they usually get a handful of reports of moose incidents every year, causing injuries or property damage, usually at lower elevations. 

For more moose safety tips, DWR asks that you visit the Wild Aware Utah website.

Heather Peterson is a reporter and producer for KSL NewsRadio. She also produces Utah’s Noon News. 

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The dangers of coming into contact with a moose this month