Eagle River man home from the hospital after moose attack
Eagle River resident Taylor Caldwell just spent his first weekend at home after he was stomped by a moose on May 17. His injuries landed him in Providence Alaska Medical Center for a week.
On Monday morning, Caldwell was seated on his couch with his leg propped up, nursing several broken ribs, a broken finger, dozens of stitches and a hole in his lung. Caldwell said he never imagined that a moose could do so much damage.
"No, no not at all. I always thought of them as docile creatures," he said.
Caldwell is a 67-year-old professional musician who plays regularly in Anchorage. On the day of the attack he was walking his dog Memphis on a familiar trail that runs close to the back of his Eagle River home. He said Memphis was on a leash. About halfway down the short trail, Caldwell heard a rustling noise coming from the woods.
"When I looked up, her face was just right there, just maybe five feet away," he said.
Caldwell said he caught a brief glimpse of what appeared to be a newborn moose calf in the brush and an angry cow in front of him. He tried to move, but the mother moose was on him in seconds, knocking him down, slashing and stomping him with her hooves. He said the moose used her nose to turn him over and kick some more at his ribs.
"I wasn't sure where this was going to go, but I was just glad when it was over," Caldwell said.
Bloodied and bruised, Caldwell managed to crawl an estimated 80 yards down the trail toward a road where he was spotted by a passing motorist who called 911. That man didn't stay, but Caldwell said a woman with children stopped shortly afterward and waited with him till paramedics arrived. The moose was gone by the time Fish and Game got to the scene.
Caldwell said his healing may take time. In addition to his injuries, he is also being treated for prostate cancer. Despite it all, his attitude remains positive.
"I feel kind of lucky to be walking," he said.
Caldwell also feels lucky to have friends who have rallied to his side, including people in the music industry. A Facebook page is raising money to help pay his medical bills.
By Monday afternoon, more than $3,000 of the $5,000 goal had been met.
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