Would-be moose photographer kicked to death by mother protecting her newborn calves

An Alaska man’s photography outing took a deadly turn when he tried to snap some pictures of a pair of newborn moose calves.

Dale Chorman, 70, was charged and kicked to death by a protective mother moose, and subsequently pronounced dead at the scene, while his unnamed companion escaped uninjured.

Austin McDaniel, with the Alaska Department of Public Safety, stated that “as they were walking through the brush looking for the moose, that’s when the cow moose attacked Dale.”

Moose are not known to be particularly aggressive under normal circumstances, but are extremely protective of their young if humans venture too close.


FILE- A moose in the brush. (Steve Nehf/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The typical female, or cow moose, weighs around 800 pounds, while their male counterparts weigh around 1,600 pounds. Moose are known to employ methods including kicking and stomping in attacks that can prove fatal.

“Calving season for moose is the time when you definitely want to give them extra space…Cow moose with calves are going to be some of the more aggressive moose you’re going to come in contact with,” noted McDaniel.


Provoking moose, or approaching a cow moose with calves, have led to perilous outcomes in the past. In a 1995 incident on the grounds of the University of Alaska Anchorage, a group of students provoked and harassed a cow moose and her calf for hours, throwing snowballs. When an uninvolved 71-year-old individual tried to walk past the agitated moose, he was stomped to death.

FILE- A Colorado cow moose in the wild. (Wayne D. Lewis/Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Alaska boasts a considerable moose population of 200,000, and an estimated 5-10 moose attacks take place per year in the state, although they are generally not fatal. Collisions with moose on roadways are a far more common and serious threat to humans, and pose enormous threats to life and property due to their large size.

Alaska State Troopers stated in an online post that the cow moose was no longer present in the area. Moose calving season typically runs from mid-May to mid-June, making it a particularly good time for humans to avoid close contact with the massive ungulates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

David Unsworth reports on Latin America. You can follow David Unsworth on Twitter @LatinAmerUpdate

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