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IDFG: Man attacked by bull moose outside Coeur d'Alene

Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 15:22:33-05

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — A man in north Idaho was recently attacked by a bull moose in his barn outside of Coeur d'Alene, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

IDFG staff says they received a call from the man on December 8. The man's step-daughter went into their barn to get hay for their horse but saw the moose eating hay when she entered.

IDFG says the moose was noticeably unafraid of her and proceeded to charge toward her, and she was able to get out of the barn safely. The man tried several times to get the moose out of the barn, but it turned and charged towards him, hitting him in the chest and knocking him to the ground.

The moose tried to trample him while he was on the ground, according to IDFG. The man repeatedly fired his sidearm near the moose in an effort to get it to stop.

After the shots were fired, the moose left the barn unharmed. IDFG says the man was not seriously injured during the encounter.

IDFG encourages the public to never approach or attempt to feed or touch a wild animal. Staff with IDFG have confirmed residents in the area where the encounter happened have been feeding wild animals, including the moose.

During the winter months, it is not uncommon for moose to enter towns as they move to lower elevations and take advantage of milder weather. IDFG reminds people that while moose may appear aloof and can come across as friendly, they are wild and highly unpredictable.

“This moose did not appear to be afraid of me at all,” said the man who was recently attacked. “I could tell it was getting agitated when it lowered its ears to the back of its head,” he said.

Ears flattened against the head is a sign of agitation and aggression in moose and nearly all other wild animals. If you encounter a wild animal and see this behavior, be aware and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.

IDFG handles moose in town occurrences on a case-by-case basis, but it is always preferred when a moose moves out of town or a problem area on its own. A moose that acts aggressively towards people may have to be relocated or killed to protect public safety, according to IDFG.

A relocation is sometimes an option, but IDFG says moving a moose to a new habitat during winter puts the animal at high risk of malnutrition and being eaten by predators.