Letter: Eyewitness of moose attack sets record straight
Ryan Summerlin June 14, 2013
Eyewitness of moose attack sets record straight
To the Editor:
I am the only eyewitness to the attack, on my friend, by the moose in Grand Lake. Here are the true facts:
She was never within 10 feet of the moose. When she was beside my car it was 42 feet to the moose and my car was between her and where the moose and calf were laying. When Colorado Parks and Wildlife interviewed me at the hospital in Granby, I told them it was about 10 feet from my steps to my car. Actually we measured that and it was 14 feet. But the fact remains she was never closer than 42 feet.
She walked way out and around our driveway, getting farther from the moose. That distance was 60 feet. When she reached the end of our drive, she took a tight left turn onto the road. This is when, for some reason, the moose decided to attack. This was 85 feet from where the moose had been.
She has lived up here for quite a while and understands about wildlife. She would never come within 10 feet of any wild animal. Have you measured out 10 feet? If anyone, dog or no dog, were within 10 feet of a moose, they certainly would be taking their life into their hands.
This moose and calf had been living around our property for about three to four days. My husband and I had been enjoying watching the mom and babe. I have pictures and short films of them. They were our resident moose. The sheriff interviewed me and he gave the info to the young man from Parks and Wildlife who was here. I assured them that the moose had been calm around my dog and the dogs (two) next door. I asked them not to put the animals down. I was hoping that Parks and Wildlife would see this as a horrible accident and not kill these precious animals. Please direct your questions and comments to Parks and Wildlife. Killing these animals broke our hearts and when my friend was finally told, it broke her heart too. She asked why did they have to kill the moose?
Fortunately my friend was not killed but has serious injuries. She will heal but it might take six months for some of her injuries to completely heal. Please understand, this could have happened to anyone walking in this area at this time.
Since her name has been published, she has received some hateful phone calls. Please do not call. Think about what you are doing and saying. What if this had happened to your friend or a member of your family? Would you want people verbally attacking them? Think twice before putting down another human being who never intended for this to happen. Please have some respect.
Thank you for caring enough about the facts to read this article.
Since the Sky-Hi News relied on the official report from Colorado Parks and Wildlife on details of the moose incident, the News reached out to the agency regarding this discrepancy. Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Mike Porras issued the following statement:
“Our officer interviewed the witness at the hospital. The witness initially told the officer that her (witness) vehicle was parked in her driveway 10 feet from the cow and calf. According to the witness, the injured woman’s barking dog lunged at the moose and calf from the front of the vehicle as the injured woman walked her dog past the vehicle. The injured woman was holding the dog with a fully retracted leash. This information placed the injured woman and her dog 10 feet from the cow and calf.
In addition, a Grand County Sheriff’s deputy at the scene verbally told the CPW officer who responded to the scene that the woman and her dog had been as close as 10 feet to the cow and calf. The information released to the public by Colorado Parks and Wildlife came from the initial interview and report written by the officer who conducted the interview with the witness at the hospital, and the information provided by the deputy at the scene.
After our officer conducted a closer, physical examination of the scene and had an additional conversation with the witness the evening of June 12, it appears that the vehicle may have been about 20 feet from the cow and calf.
This is not a significant difference in distance given the circumstances and various factors involved in this incident.
A moose cow with a calf can become very agitated if a person with a barking dog comes close, whether it is 10 feet or 20 feet.”