The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) euthanized a bull moose for attacking an elderly resident of Grand Lake. The moose was shot and killed by a wildlife officer following the incident the morning of Sunday, March 26.

“All indications are that the moose attack was unprovoked,” said DOW Regional Manager Ron Velarde. “The DOW will not tolerate wildlife aggression towards people and in this case we felt fully justified in killing the moose.”

Officers estimate the moose was five to six years old. An examination of the carcass showed that the moose had significant injuries that were older and had begun to heal. The moose had five broken ribs, one of which punctured the chest cavity. In addition the moose had two vertebrae on the spine which had separated and were no longer attached. The significant pain the moose was in may have contributed to the attack; however officials concede they will never know what lead to the attack. Additional veterinary tests are planned.

A wildlife officer had also responded to an incident involving a moose two weeks earlier in the same general area. In that incident a woman was knocked to the ground and stepped on by a charging moose that may have been startled by her dog, which was not on a leash. The woman was treated and released for her injuries. Officers say there is no way to be sure if the incident involved the same moose.

The community of Grand Lake is located north of Granby in north central Colorado.