Fish and Game weighs in on moose's cyclist charge
An Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist says there are lessons to be learned from video of a cow moose charging at a cyclist on a Glenn Highway bike path outside Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Monday. The moose didn't come in contact with the rider, but the charge caused the rider to fall.
KTVA asked Fish and Game's Dave Battle to sit down and analyze the video. He says the moose charged, went away and then charged again -- more than likely because the cyclist was moving after falling to the ground.
Battle had suggestions to avoid similar charges by aggressive moose.
"If you're on the ground like that, whether the moose made contact with you, or it just came really close and you went down like that, stay down, protect your head and neck the best you can and just don't move," Battle said. "Because as long as she sees movement, and particularly if you start to get back up, she's just concerned with neutralizing the threat. If you're down and still, she's much less likely to come back and renew an attack."
If a moose is actually stomping on you, don't fight back.
"Stay down -- you protect your head and your neck, vital areas as much as you can," Battle said. "And don't just fight back because most of the time when we've seen those attacks, in particular, if we've had video of something like that, they'll do that for a few seconds and then they'll start moving off again."
The presence of offspring is a key factor in attacks by cows, Battle said.
"In particular, if she's got calves, she wants to get back to her calves," Battle said. "If someone wants to get back up, that's when the attack renews. So just stay down. She's not going to keep stomping and kicking for long if you're just still."
Battle says there isn't a lot of documented evidence on the effectiveness of using bear spray on a moose. He says some people say that worked and drove the moose off. But others have said it only made the moose more upset and it was still kicking.
On Wednesday, the mama moose and her two calves walked through a moose gate onto JBER, according to Fish and Game. Officials added that the base is considering cutting a hole in the fence where the moose were standing to allow them to leave the bike path.
The bike path is now open to the public.
Contact reporter Joe Vigil by email.
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