BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — A moose trampled a trail runner north of Breckenridge on Thursday morning, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers believe the animal was a female protecting her newborn.
CPW officers responded to a report of a woman who had been injured by a moose on Thursday around 9:15 a.m. The woman had been running on the Campion Trail, which starts north of Breckenridge and off State Highway 9 on Revette Drive. She had minor injuries and was able to hike out on her own and drive herself home, where she called CPW.
CPW District Wildlife Jacob Kay said the woman was focused on the trail and was looking at her feet just before encountering the animal.
“When she looked up, she saw the moose, which immediately charged her and eventually trampled her," Kay said.
As she was headed back to her car, the woman said she noticed a newborn calf.
Kay said this has led CPW to believe the moose — which was a cow — was likely protecting her baby.
To protect the public, Campion Trail will remain closed through June 1. CPW wildlife officers will use the trail over the weekend to ensure the animals have moved away and it is safe to reopen.
A violation of this order is punishable by a fine of not more than $500 for an individual or $10,000 for a group, or imprisonment for up to six months.
CPW said all hikers should give moose and all other wildlife plenty of space on the trails, especially during the spring, when they have newborns. Moose are common in areas near water and with willows, which they feed on. Willows are thick and can be hard to see through, so hikers are encouraged to use routes with good visibility. Always keep your dog on a leash.
If you come across a moose, give it space and time to move away from you, but do not haze it. This is considered harassment, which is illegal, CPW said. You are too close to the animal if its ears are laid back, it paws the ground, licks its snout or changes directions to face you. To learn more about living with moose, click here.
Report any conflicts with moose to your local CPW office location.