JACKSON (WNE) — Ed Opler, 89, was walking his dog on June 1 when a moose came out of “nowhere” and knocked him to the ground.
“He couldn’t see her,” said Opler’s wife, Laura. “She just knocked him right down.”
A bit of pandemonium ensued. His wife, who heard the dog barking, looked out the kitchen window and saw the moose standing there. Then she heard her husband call from the garage. He said he’d been hit.
Laura Opler could see that her husband was bleeding from his hands. When she got closer she could see that his head was covered in blood.
They took Ed Opler on a stretcher to St. John’s Health, where he received a CAT scan. Doctors found a small brain bleed.
Her husband also had a broken scapula. He got staples and stitches and looks pretty beat up, she said. But he was discharged and is now recovering at home.
Moose, like most wildlife, can be defensive when threatened, particularly when people get too close.
The June 1 encounter came near the end of moose calving season, which kicks off in mid- to late March and runs through late June. Wildlife typically are protective of their young. Moose, in particular, are known for charging when they feel their young are threatened.
“We get a couple reports a year of moose that are tending to be aggressive towards people in defense of their young, and occasionally there’s an injury associated with it,” said Brad Hovinga, Jackson region wildlife supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.