Cops: Moose charges woman walking dogs in Aspen

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times
A sign warns trail users of moose danger nearby the community garden Wednesday.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times |

A moose charged a woman walking her dogs near the Aspen Community Garden on Wednesday morning after the dogs startled the animal, and the moose came running toward her, police said.

The woman was walking on a trail near the garden when two of her dogs, which were off-leash, ran toward the garden and out of sight, said Gretchen Born, supervisor of the Aspen Police Department’s community resource officers.

“They came roaring out of there like wildfire, bringing the moose to her,” Born said. “She was startled.”

With the moose charging toward her, the woman backed away and took off, she said. The dogs then split up and went off in different directions, which likely confused the moose. The animal then stopped and went off in a different direction, Born said.

The woman said she’s been walking in the area for 20 years and has never seen a moose before, though she’s seen plenty of other wildlife, she said. The woman was not injured.

Moose are known to be cantankerous animals and could have attacked the woman, she said.

“This is why we stress that people on trails keep their dogs on the leash,” Born said.

Emergency dispatchers first received a call about a moose crossing Main Street about 8 a.m. Wednesday, though officers weren’t able to locate it, she said. An hour and a half later, dispatchers received a report of a moose near the roundabout west of town and near the community garden, Born said.

Born said she actually saw the moose approaching the community garden at that time but was on a road above Meadowood so she was a bit of a distance away.

Deputy Alex Burchetta, patrol director for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, said he heard of another moose sighting Wednesday in the Maroon Bells area. On Monday, a moose and a calf were reported at the Wildwood School area east of town, he said.