Fairbanks Woman Trampled by Moose
Blood from a wounded moose is seen splattered on the snow beside the house next to Cathi Beck's home Tuesday morning, March 19, 2013. Beck was attacked by the injured moose on her doorstep last Saturday. Photo by Eric Engman/News-Miner.
FAIRBANKS – When Cathi Beck walked out the front door of her house Saturday afternoon and found herself eye to eye with a full-grown cow moose, she didn’t have time to react.
“I went out the door, turned right and I was looking right into the moose’s eyes at that point,” Beck said.
Beck had followed her boyfriend, Tony Martin, outside to start their two vehicles, which were parked in separate driveways of their duplex on Palo Verde Drive, just off Chena Pump Road.
Martin, 57, turned left while Beck, 53, turned right. Beck had only taken a step or two when she bumped into the moose, which was hidden in an alcove between the house and the arctic entryway she had exited.
Beck shouted an expletive when she found herself face-to-face with the moose.
That got Martin’s attention.
“She doesn’t cuss that often,” said Martin, who was only 5 or 10 feet away when he heard her.
What happened next took both Beck and Martin by surprise. The moose, which had a broken rear leg, reared up and knocked Beck to the ground.
“It had its right hoof up against my left shoulder and the left one came down on my thigh,” said Beck, who is 5-feet-5-inches tall. “It trampled me a couple times before it fell down on top of me and rolled over the top of me.
“All I remember is hooves and legs coming at me,” she said. “I was terrified. I thought this was it.”
Martin, who turned and snapped a quick picture on his cellphone before the moose reared up, couldn’t believe his eyes.
“She was on her back like a turtle when it first knocked her down,” he said.
After the moose rolled over the top of her, a dazed and bruised Beck managed to crawl back inside the house.
“Once I got inside, I collapsed and called 911,” she said.
Outside, meanwhile, the angry moose turned its attention to Martin.
“It came after me, but I was able to put my truck between me and it,” he said. “The hair on that thing’s back was standing straight up like a bristle brush.”
Martin made it safely back inside when the moose followed him around the back end of the truck.
Alaska Wildlife Trooper Branden Forst and patrol trooper Kamau Leigh responded to the 911 call at 1:45 p.m., just minutes after the attack. They managed to herd the moose away from neighbors’ houses before Forst killed it with a 12-gauge shotgun slug.
Beck declined treatment from emergency medical personnel, but Martin took her to the hospital to get checked out. She didn’t have any broken bones, just lots of bruises. The moose ripped Beck’s jeans and broke the skin on her leg, leaving her thigh bruised. She also suffered badly bruised ribs as a result of the 1,000-pound moose falling on her and rolling over her, Beck said.