Glacier National Park tourists learn the hard way not to antagonize rutting moose

Bull moose, Glacier National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

A couple visiting Glacier National Park this week had a fright after getting too close to a bull moose for comfort. The pair were taking photos of the bull by a lake, when he spotted them and charged, driving them back.

The incident was recorded by another visitor, Liz Chang, who was safely on the opposite bank. "The moose are in their rut right now and that bull had been running around for a couple minutes trying to chase away a baby so he could 'date' the mama," she explained.

Chang's video was shared via Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, which highlights bad behavior at sites of natural beauty, such as visitors chasing wolves and trying to pet bison,

Moose are usually curious rather than aggressive, but they are huge, powerful animals and their temperament can change in a flash if they feel threatened. In Colorado, two people were attacked and trampled by moose earlier this month, prompting officials to issue a warning advising dog walkers to keep their pets under control around wildlife.

"All of Glacier's wildlife can be dangerous," warns the National Park Service. "For most species, like moose, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and deer, visitors must maintain at least 25 yards (23 m) of distance. For wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, and mountain lions, a distance of at least 100 yards (91 m) should be observed."

If you do find yourself in close quarters with a moose, stay calm and try not to startle it. Back away slowly to a safe distance, taking care not to get between a cow and her calves. It's a good idea to get behind something large and solid like a building or boulder, in case the animal charges. For more advice, see our guide what to do if you meet a moose when hiking.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.