“We’re encouraging people not to take selfies with them.”
Steamboat Springs and Winter Park, two popular Colorado ski resorts, have been seeing an influx of migrating moose traveling on groomed ski runs. Resort officials are urging recreational skiers and snowboarders to avoid attempting “selfies” with the big animals, putting signs up on the hill that say “May Charge,” “Seek Escape Route” and “Moose Don’t Shoo!”
The moose have an easier time traversing through the area on the packed trails rather than through deep snow as they migrate west to east along the Continental Divide. Colorado wildlife managers have been transplanting moose to the area for the past couple decades and, with the lack of predators, the species has been thriving. The transplants started with a mere 24 and the population is now at 2,500.
This has sparked enthusiasm with hunters in the area as moose and human interaction grows more frequent. More than 25,000 hunters applied for 315 licenses released this year to legally hunt the moose in the area.
Moose have been seen off the groomed ski runs, bedded down.
“We’re encouraging people not to take selfies with them. And we’re actively encouraging our guests not to ski past a moose but to stop and wait until they move on. You never know how a moose is going to react. It is not a matter of moose being fast. Moose are big. They can be mean. They’re very much a wild animal. They’re just trying to survive, as we are,” said Steamboat spokeswoman Loryn Kasten.