Hikers survive harrowing encounter with moose
OGDEN, Utah (CNN) -- Caught on camera: A frightening encounter between a moose and a group of hikers in Utah.
"She came down and she was like a steamroller. When she came down we only had seconds before she was right on us," hiker William Barba said.
Barba says he and more than a dozen others met up to snowshoe and hike in the Wheeler Creek area off Art Nord Drive, not a mile up the trail.
"The member that had the dog that spooked the moose in the first place. He said something like, ‘moose is coming, moose!’ That's all it took. We dove off," he said.
The moose charged past half the group and came barreling down toward the others.
"It came by me, he looked at me and he snorted as went by," hiker David Vance said.
Chauntelle McAlhany watched the moose nearly trample her dog, Bella.
"The moose just went right over the top of her and somehow, miraculously, she didn't get hurt."
The group tried to back away, but there was a problem: The moose was now down the trail, blocking their way to safety.
"We were stuck, we were cold, we wanted to get back down to our car and it was the only way,” McAlhany said. “There's no way to go around the moose. I mean, it's a narrow trail."
They say the moose charged at least three separate times, while the group hunkered down and tried to stay away.
"This moose is putting on a bluff charge. It's a stress response to scare away danger," said Phil Douglass of the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources.
Classic behavior, DWR says, especially this time of year -- and this winter, in particular.
"We've had a heavy snowfall in the last few weeks. It's moving the animals down. The animals are going to places where it's easy to walk like a well-traveled trail like Wheeler Canyon is," Douglass said.
He says hikers will need to take extra precautions: know what to do, have extra supplies to wait it out, because encounters like this are bound to happen more often.
Eventually, two hikers were able to get back down to their cars. But the others, who were further up the trail, spent an extra two hours hiking up the trail even farther to get to the road in a roundabout way.