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Protective cow moose attacks and seriously injures Colorado woman, officials say

The woman who was walking a dog in moose habitat is not at fault, an official said. The cow moose was likely "protecting her calves," the official said.
Close up portrait of Moose (Alces alces) female
An elderly woman was taking a dog out on a leash when she was attacked outside a home south of Glenwood Springs, Colo., on August 13, 2021.Arterra / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — An elderly woman is recovering from severe injuries after she was attacked by a cow moose outside a home in western Colorado.

The woman, whose name was not released, was taking a dog out on a leash when she was attacked Friday night outside a home south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Wednesday. She was flown by helicopter to a hospital on the Front Range due to the extent of her injuries and the care required.

The woman was dog-sitting for one of the home’s residents.

Colorado officials warned of getting too close to a moose earlier in August, releasing video of a bull charging at a person in Clear Creek County, about 20 miles west of downtown Denver.

Matt Yamashita, a wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife addressing the incident on Friday night, said the area around Glenwood Springs is known for its moose habitat and is frequented by the ungulates year-round.

“This incident was no fault of her own. Conflicts with moose can happen, even when you follow best practices for living in moose habitat,” he said, adding that the attack likely happened because the cow moose was protecting her calves.

The cow and its two calves have been in the area for a while, and no previous aggressive behavior was reported.