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Moose Population Thrives Leading to Human/Animal Conflict

You are currently viewing Moose Population Thrives Leading to Human/Animal Conflict
The American moose is the second largest land animal in North America.
  • Post category:News

While many would assume that the moose is native to Colorado, this is actually not true. The moose was first brought to the state in 1978, when a group of scientists brought 24 moose from Utah into Colorado. The scientists took to the skies in helicopters, then shot tranquilizers at the moose they found, and then scooped up the moose to deposit it in Colorado. They traveled over 200 miles with the 24 moose in the air, dropping them off in Colorado’s North Park. Since their introduction to the state, the American moose, or scientifically known as the Alces americanus, population has only thrived. The state is now home to roughly 3,000 moose, which creates realms of great beauty but lately has caused an increase in human and animal issues.

The American moose is the second largest land animal in North America, following behind the bison.

The moose population growing so vastly in just a few decades is actually quite ironic. The group of scientists from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department who collected and brought over the moose have since released statements saying that the original goal in bringing these animals to Colorado was to increase the sales of hunting licenses. One biologist working for the department, Gene Schoonveld, even spoke on the matter of participating in the relocation project in the 1970s. To put it simply, he said, “We brought them to Colorado because we could. We had the space and habitat for them.”

The now high number of moose in the state is beginning to cause some problems between the human residents and the animals.

Moose attacks have increased in the state tenfold. Now, the number of moose attacks is higher than the number of attacks by bears and mountain lions combined. Nearly every post online about a hike in the state includes at least one moose sighting, and sometimes result in the aforementioned attacks. The frequent moose sightings and attacks is particularly interesting because, even though they have a substantial population, there are still far fewer moose than bears and mountain lions, both of which are not commonly seen.

Some have begun to hypothesize why the moose tend to stay in populated human areas. A few believe the relocation of the moose led to generations of distraught animals as they acclimate to unknown territories which has increased their aggression. Others suggest that people as a whole are simply still unaware of how to treat these creatures, which leads to the animals attacking in moments of distress. Regardless, if you see a moose around the state, do not bother it; just continue on with your day and leave the animal undisturbed.

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