Trail runner injured in moose attack – how to keep yourself safe

Moose in Wyoming at sunrise
Moose are usually docile, but can attack if they feel threatened (Image credit: Getty)

A trail in Colorado has been closed after a runner was attacked by a moose. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the woman accidentally came across a cow moose and her newborn calf on the Campion Trail.

"The runner was focused on the trail and looking down at her feet,” said CPW district wildlife manager Jacob Kay. “When she looked up, she saw the moose, which immediately charged her and eventually trampled her."

The woman sustained minor injuries, but was able to walk out of the woods and drive herself home. The trail will remain closed until June 1 while wildlife officers assess the area

How to stay safe

Moose are usually docile, but like all wildlife, they should be treated with care and respect. They are the largest members of the deer family, and despite being herbivores, can attack humans when they feel threatened. In fact, moose attacks are more common than bear attacks in the United States, so it pays to take precautions.

First of all, always give moose plenty of space and never get between a cow moose and her calf. Keep children close and secure all pets. “Moose react to dogs the same way they would react to a predator in the wild, which typically means standing their ground and acting defensive,” says Jacob Kay.

Stay facing the moose and back away. Watch out for signs including the moose laying back its ears, pawing the ground, licking its snout, or changing direction to face you – all of which mean that you're too close.

A charging moose doesn't move with great precision or have very good eyesight. If you can, get behind a tree, rock, or car to avoid being hit. If that's not possible before the moose reaches you, lie down and play dead. A moose is more likely to attack with its front hooves than its antlers, so pull in your knees, and use your hands and arms to protect your head and neck. Your backpack can serve as a shield. For more advice, see our guide on what to do if you see a moose while 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.