Expect more run-ins with moose in Southern Colorado

Moose in Manitou Springs/FOX21 File Photo
Moose in Manitou Springs / FOX21 News File Photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Wildlife officials say the moose population in Colorado is steadily increasing, leading to more run-ins with the wild animal.

While moose are not threatened by humans, they can still charge when spooked.

“We’ve had animals walk to the windows, moose, yeah, down the sidewalk,” said Lauren Maupin, lead housekeeper for La Foret Conference and Retreat Center.

Moose aren’t all that common in Colorado, but they have been spotted a few times a year.

“We estimate that there’s a population of about 10 moose up in Divide right now. That’s the latest counts that we have, but occasionally they’ll wander out and look for new territory. And we have had them wander down into Colorado Springs before,” said Abbie Walls, public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“The last group that was here, we saw the moose and everybody was so excited, but they thought it was a horse,” Maupin said.

Last month, those staying at La Foret Conference and Retreat Center in Black Forest saw an infrequent visitor.

“They come here to deal with the transcendent issues in their lives and groups from churches and organizations and they expect peace and quiet. They don’t necessarily expect to see that kind of wildlife,” said Larry McCulloch, executive director of La Foret Conference and Retreat Center.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, moose don’t fear humans, but they do fear dogs, as they resemble their only natural predator: wolves.

“A lot of times when we do have incidents with humans and moose, there’s usually a dog involved in some way, shape or form,” Walls said.

“Being this close to Colorado Springs, I think that having that kind of wildlife is still a good thing for our environment. It’s encouraging,” McCulloch said.

Wildlife officials want to remind the public that moose can grow up to 1,200 pounds and run up to 35 miles per hour.

So, if you run into one, give them plenty of space.

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