Winter Park moose left to limp from scene of accident
Ryan Summerlin September 5, 2013
WINTER PARK — A young moose injured by a vehicle collision on Wednesday, Aug. 28, near the Robbers Roost Campground may not have had a broken leg, as local police originally surmised.
Fraser/Winter Park Police noted on an incident report the moose had a broken back leg, and the local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office advised officers to leave the animal as it was.
The Sky-Hi News contacted local officials to obtain more information about the incident. In cases involving injured wildlife, police defer to local Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, who make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
According to Scott Murdoch, wildlife manager with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hot Sulphur Springs office, the moose calf did not have a broken leg, but was limping after the crash. In addressing injured moose, Murdoch said Parks and Wildlife either will put animals down or let them fend for themselves. In this case, the moose was left alone.
“There are a lot of moose limping around, and they do just fine,” Murdoch said. “They’re adaptable critters.”
Murdoch said deer, moose and elk with three legs are often found in the wild surviving “just fine.” He also noted Parks and Wildlife does not have a policy for rehabilitating injured ungulates due to the danger it creates.
“They get very habituated with people, and that creates safety concerns — if a moose gets used to being around humans,” Murdoch said.
Barring any protruding bones that could result in an infection, and as long as the animal can still move and feed, Parks and Wildlife does its best to avoid putting down injured wildlife.