Woman fails to spot moose stalking her along footpath – it doesn't end well

Bull moose in snow, Canada
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Moose usually prefer to avoid close encounters with humans, but during the winter months when the animals are cold, tired and hungry, their tempers can start to fray. One woman walking in Anchorage, Alaska was lucky to escape alive after a seemingly unprovoked attack from a moose that followed her along a snowy footpath and knocked her down without warning. 

A video of the incident, which happened in February last year, has begun recirculating on social media this week thanks to infamous Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks. The account usually highlights examples of bad behavior at sites of natural beauty around the world, such as people poking moose and chasing elk, but sometimes people just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The clip, which you can watch below, was shot by passer-by Kate Timmons, who noticed the moose stalking the walker, later named as Tracy Hansen. The snow banks were too steep for the witness to easily reach her, so they could only shout to warn Hansen as the animal drew closer.

Hansen didn't hear the warnings in time, and didn't realize anything was amiss until the moose jumped and kicked her in the back of the head.

“I thought someone had not been paying attention and hit me with a bike or something,” Hansen told Alaska's News Source at the time. “I had put my hands up to my head, and I’m like, 'I’m bleeding'."

After witnessing the attack, Timmons' family sprang into action, and her husband managed to pull Hansen over the snowbank to safety. 

“It definitely seemed unprovoked from our standpoint and it happened so fast it was just like, a matter of getting her out of the situation, getting her help, making sure, you know my big thing was that she didn’t have a head trauma, that there wasn’t a bleed or something," said Timmons.

Moose safety

It's possible that the moose may have been spooked by Hansen's dog, Gunner, who she was walking along the footpath. Dogs are known to provoke moose, which can't tell the difference between them and wolves.

If you encounter a moose while out hiking, you should talk to it in a calm voice while backing away to give it space. It's wise to stay at least 50ft from moose at all times. Don't turn your back on it, and never get between a cow moose and her calf. 

For more advice, take a look at our guides what to do if you meet a moose on the trail and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.

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.