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Moose Encounters On The Rise In Utah As Extreme Drought Conditions Persist

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — One side effect of the heat and drought in Utah is more moose encounters.

The Division of Wildfire Resources said they have already received several reports of moose this year within city boundaries.

Officials said moose are on the move, searching for water.

Adult moose can weigh up to 1,200 pounds and stand six feet tall at their shoulders.

Due to their large size, officials said they can be dangerous when feeling threatened.

“In my years of working with wildlife, I have dealt with bears, rattlesnakes, cougars and moose, and the only species that I’ve had turn and come back at me was a moose,” Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Big Game Coordinator Covy Jones said. “People often underestimate how aggressive they can be.”

DWR released a couple of tips Monday on what to do if you find yourself face to face with a moose:

  • Always give the moose a lot of space and watch its behavior.
  • Never try to approach or feed a moose.
  • Keep dogs leashed and under control at all times. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to chase or harass protected wildlife, like moose.
  • Stay calm and do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back away in the direction you came.
  • If a moose charges you or chases you, hide behind something solid (like a tree) or try to get inside a vehicle or building.
  • If a moose knocks you down, curl into a ball, protect your head and lie still until the moose retreats.

More safety tips can be found at the Wild Aware Utah website.

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