Moose Incident In Laramie Serves As Reminder Of Wildlife Safety
A recent incident with a moose near Laramie brings to light some important things to consider when encountering wildlife in or around town.
The morning of Thursday, September 18 a male moose was spotted in a field east on the east side of town near Jacoby Golf Course. The field is a popular spot for dog walkers, many of whom saw the moose.
One woman got too close to the animal and came into contact with it. The moose protected its territory and apparently moved the woman out of the way, leaving her with minor injuries including a cut on her head.
The incident was not a goring or even considered an attack, said Game Warden Bill Brinegar. The woman was not seriously injured, but it does serve as a reminder of the importance of safety when wildlife comes into or near town.
According to Wyoming Game and Fish Information Specialist Robin Kepple, this is a very active time of year for wildlife.
Animals such as bears are on the move looking for more food before the winter months, and sometimes their food searches can lead them into town. In addition, this the breeding season for many game animals, meaning their own safety is not always the first thing on their minds, and they end up in places that they don’t usually go.
Kepple says the first thing to keep in mind if you see wildlife in town is to not approach the animal. This goes for animals like deer, elk, and moose, mountain lions and bears as well as small smaller animals like raccoons.
“They can be dangerous, even if they seem like they might be tame or friendly,” says Kepple. “They are wild animals, so people need to not approach them.”
In addition she says that it is important that people ensure animals have a clear path to escape.
“If they feel cornered, they might panic and run over a person or injure somebody in their effort to escape because, most of the
time, they are pretty terrified as well.”
She also reminds people that it is a bad idea for people to attempt to get closer to wildlife to take photos. While it is often tempting to get a better photograph, the animal may feel threatened by the action.
“The animal is already in a stressful situation being in town and around humans, and as people approach it, it stresses the animal more,” says Kepple.
If animals like moose, mountain lions and bears are seen, Kepple says to contact the Game and Fish Department right away. If Game and Fish cannot be contacted, contact the Sheriff's Office or local police.
Kepple says contacting officials helps them to be aware of the situation and get on scene to ensure the safety of wildlife and people in the community.