Moose struck by car and killed on Highway 82 near Aspen |

Moose struck by car and killed on Highway 82 near Aspen

An unidentified pickup truck driver struck and killed a female moose on Highway 82 west of Aspen about midnight Saturday, sources said Tuesday.

The driver of the truck hit the moose near the Aspen Country Inn just east of Buttermilk and did not stop, said Parker Lathrop, director of operations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. The moose could not move its rear legs and officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife asked deputies to euthanize the animal, he said.

Aspen police officers later located the vehicle parked in town and contacted the driver the next day, who admitted striking an animal on his way into town, said Aspen Police Department Sgt. Mike Tracey. The driver, who thought he hit a deer, was not ticketed.

Tracey said the animal was the size of a small elk and was in bad shape when he arrived on scene.

“I though it was a calf,” he said. “It didn’t appear to be huge.”

The moose carcass was later picked up by CPW wildlife officers and all salvageable meat was donated, said Matt Yamashita, area wildlife manager based in Glenwood Springs. CPW also received a report that the cow moose was accompanied by a calf that remained in the area of the carcass, though video shot by Pitkin County deputies showed it was a yearling, Yamashita said.

“Based on this information, the yearling should have all necessary survival skills and was not handled,” he wrote in an email Tuesday.

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