JEREMY RANCH, Utah - Michele Koch walks her dogs on a trail in Jeremy Ranch almost everyday. In fact, Sunday her husband saw a moose and a calf on the same trail where a woman was attacked a few hours later.
"He saw the moose and calf. It was pretty close to the trail but he passed them with the dogs on leash," Koch said.
A harmless encounter, but a couple hiking the same trail a few hours later stumbled upon a woman who wasn't as lucky. Department of Wildlife Resources Spokesman Mark Hadley said they found the woman lying in the trail.
"Her dog was with her. The dog wasn’t injured but it was obvious that she had been injured," Hadley said.
They soon realized a female moose and her calf were about 10-20 feet away.
"The cow moose made an aggressive movement towards them, they were concerned for a moment that maybe they were going to be attacked," Hadley said.
They waited until the moose calmed down before carrying the woman down the trail and calling 911.
"Her injuries were extensive enough that she wasn’t able to give her name to the EMTs who assisted her," Hadley said.
Hadley said encounters with an aggressive moose are pretty common, and sometimes the presence of a dog can also spook them.
The DWR says if you encounter a moose and you feel like it's acting aggressive and you want to get away, the best thing to do is to back up slowly while maintaining eye contact with it. Don’t turn and run away.
"Moose, their top speed is 35 miles an hour, so a moose can definitely outrun a person," Hadley said.
Erin Ferguson, with the volunteer group Save People, Save Wildlife went out to put up flyers reminding hikers of these safety tips.
"The moose hunt is going on, winter’s coming. The moose are agitated, stressed more so than they are in the spring and summer," Ferguson said.
DWR says if you are trampled, curl up in a ball and protect your head, but first and foremost be prepared. Try to keep a good distance if you spot one, without letting fear ruin what can be an exhilarating experience.
It's possible to live here together," Ferguson said.
"They belong to Utah, they belong to Park City and they were here ahead of us or before us, before we lived here so I just hike and hope they are not too close," Koch said.
The DWR spent more than an hour Sunday looking for the moose and its calf with plans to sedate and relocate them, but the officer wasn't able to spot them. At this point, there would be no way to determine whether it was the moose that the woman encountered.
For more information on how to stay safe around all wildlife, DWR recommends visiting wildawareutah.org