BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Fish and Game issued a press release reporting that a female resident in Ketchum was attacked and sustained substantial injuries after being charged by a moose in her driveway the evening of January 13.
The incident began when an unleashed small dog encountered the moose and the woman attempted to intervene. From approximately 20 ft. away, the moose charged the woman and hit her in the head, reportedly knocking her unconscious for a brief time.
Though there is no information on what happened immediately after the contact, her injuries indicate that the attack continued while she was on the ground.
Thankfully, the woman's injuries were not life threatening. The woman's identity was not reported.
The attack wasn't reported to Fish and Game until the morning of January 17.
Fish and Game requests timely reporting of attacks by aggressive moose, or any other wildlife, by calling 911. Immediate reporting increases their ability to protect the public from additional wildlife incidents.
Non-aggressive sightings should be reported to the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359 or the Blaine County Dispatch at (208) 788-5555.
Multiple moose have been reported in the Warm Springs neighborhood west of Ketchum. Regional staff is attempting to find and relocate them to a more remote location.
Fish and Game reminds residents who live in the area to be vigilant when they see a moose nearby. While a moose may give the appearance of being slow moving and unexcited, they can react very quickly when provoked and are able to cover great distances in a matter of seconds.
Fish and Game also offers these tips and guidelines:
If a person encounters a moose, they should closely watch the behavior of the moose, looking for signs of agitation or stress. If a moose lays its ears back or the hair on the back of the neck raises, that means it is stressed and could charge at any time. Moose will often snort or grunt or stomp their hooves when stressed or feeling threatened. If you see any of these behaviors the best course of action is to put something between you and the moose – like a tree or a vehicle, or, if it can be done safely, enter your house or vehicle.
Residents are strongly encouraged to keep these safety measures in mind when around moose:
- Always keep your dog on a leash when wildlife is present.
- Even if leashed, a moose may perceive a dog as a predator so avoiding an area when a moose is present may be the best and safest course of action for dog owners.
- Never put yourself in a situation where you are between a cow and calf.
- During the fall when males are in the rut, they can become very agitated and show aggression towards people and pets.
- In winter, moose can become stressed due to extreme cold and deep snow while their food supplies are scarce and their fat reserves are depleted.
You can visit Wood River Valley Wildlife Smart Communities website for more information on how to live safely with wildlife.