Fairbanks Woman Trampled by Moose
But given the dense residential area they live in and the fact there was an injured moose in close vicinity to an elementary school left both Beck and Martin questioning Fish and Game’s policy.
“Why wait until somebody gets hurt? It doesn’t make sense to me,” Beck said.
Martin added, “In a residential area so close to a school they should at least have come out to investigate.”
Harms said the agency gets dozens of reports each winter about moose lingering in yards around Fairbanks.
“If they find a place with quite a bit of browse they may stay in that area for a very long time, days or weeks,” she said. “Their goal in life is to spend as little energy as possible.
“If you see a moose browse for an hour and then lie down for four hours, that’s normal.”
Spring is the most dangerous time of year for moose vs. human encounters because moose are running low on energy reserves and are easily provoked, Harms said.
“In the fall, they’re loaded with fat reserves, and they’ll run away,” she said. “In the spring, they’re running low on energy, and they know running could tip them over the line. They tend to stand in one place and fight rather than run away.”
That’s why people should never approach moose or let their pets approach moose, Harms said.
Signs that a moose is irritated or about to attack include having its ears laid flat, head lowered and the hair on the back of its neck standing up, she said.
If a moose approaches displaying any of those characteristics, or even if it doesn’t, you should back up and give it space, Harms said. If possible, get something between you and the moose, such as a tree, bush or vehicle, she said.
“If a moose starts to rear or stomp, get under something,” Harms said. “Try to protect yourself as much as you can. It’s a very, very dangerous situation.”
Running also is an option that should be considered, Harms said.
“You don’t run from a bear, but you do run from a moose,” she said. “Just make sure you can get to where you’re running to.”
Had Beck time to run away from the moose, she gladly would have done so, she said.
“It happened so fast,” she said. “I didn’t do anything other than walk out the door, turn and boom there it was. I didn’t do anything to provoke it.
“Up until it stomped me, I felt sorry for it, but now I don’t like moose,” she said. “I never want to see the underside of a moose again.”