CENTERVILLE, Utah, Jan. 13 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials are issuing some safety tips to the public following a moose sighting in Centerville outside the elementary school on Monday.
Centerville Police Department said in a post on Facebook the sighting occurred at 400 E. Parrish Lane. The post said: “We provided a safe perimeter to keep people from getting too close, especially kids leaving Centerville Elementary. Eventually the moose made its way back up to the mountains. This moose or others may return.
“If you see a moose in the city, it is very important that you do not approach it. An adult bull moose can weigh up to 1,500 lbs and they can run up to 35 mph. They can be very dangerous if you get too close. Stay indoors or in your car if possible.”
They encourage people who see the moose to call dispatch, at 801-292-8441, so that they can work with the Division of Wildlife Resources to make sure that the people in the area, as well as the moose, are safe.
Outdoors.org has posted the following tips if a moose encounter occurs:
Danger and Distance
If a moose feels threatened by your presence, it does one of two things. Often the moose simply leaves the area to avoid the threat. But sometimes it responds aggressively to make you leave the area instead. The minimum safe distance from a moose varies widely depending on the surrounding environment and the temperament of the animal. As a general rule, if you are causing the moose to change its behavior in any way, you are too close. Even if the moose appears undisturbed by your presence, you must still be able to evade the animal should it abruptly charge you.
Anxious or agitated moose can display a range of warning signs. They may lay their ears back. The hair on the back of the neck and above the hips might stand up. They could smack their lips, show the whites of their eyes, toss their head upward like a horse, or even urinate on their back legs. If you see any of these warning signs, it is a clear indication that you are too close and in a potentially dangerous situation. However, moose may exhibit none of these warning signs—until they abruptly charge.
If a Moose Charges You
An aggressive, confrontational moose is trying to do one thing: drive you off. So if a moose approaches you, back away. If it charges, RUN! Do not stand your ground. If possible, place a tree or other nearby object between you and the moose as you retreat. Once the moose has driven you far enough away, it will leave you alone. If the moose does make contact, it typically strikes first with its front hooves, using its rear legs occasionally in a prolonged assault. If a moose knocks you down, continue your efforts to escape. Sustained assaults are rare, however, and the odds of a fatal attack are extremely low.
Be On Guard
Any moose, at any time of year, may respond aggressively if provoked by your presence, though the chances of a confrontation increase during certain times of year. Cows with calves are particularly protective, especially in early summer when their young are most vulnerable. In the fall, bull moose often act more aggressively as they compete with other males for breeding opportunities. But no matter what the season, the best strategy is to avoid a confrontational situation in the first place. Keep your distance.