Moose – not CO natives

Did you know that Moose are not native to Colorado?  They are actually more like those Coloradans that refer to themselves as  “quasi – natives” or “born again Coloradans.”

We rented a cabin in Grand Lake this weekend for the 3 day holiday.  I had heard reports of moose sightings from family  that have a cabin in the area, but I hadn’t actually seen any moose (in person) until this weekend.  We saw this big boy just hanging out in the back yard of a cabin near us!  Isn’t he magnificent?

We also saw two sets of babies (twins) with their moms.  When we were gawking at this Daddy, one of the spectators told me that moose aren’t native to CO, that about 15 were introduced about 15 years ago and the population took off. 

I had never heard that before, so I looked into it when we finished our travels home (Mucho kudos to my husband for his patience shown while driving in the I-70 traffic!).   Per an article I read (link no longer valid) and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, moose have been introduced to Colorado on a few separate occasions.   About 12 Utah moose were introduced in 1978 near Walden and another dozen from Wyoming were brought to the same basin the following year.   DOW left them alone for a few years (until 1987) and then added another 12 to the Laramie River Valley to add to the few that had migrated over from the original 24 and their offspring.

In 1991 and 1992 they brought in about 100 animals to the Creede area (some from Utah, some from Wyoming and some from the original herd near North Park, Colorado).

In 2005, a cow (female) moose and two young bulls were released to the Grand Mesa near Grand Junction.  The Grand Junction Sentinal reports there are nearly 150 moose in the area now.  That was a prolific threesome!

Moose have done so well that they are even allowing limited hunting to keep the populations to reasonable levels.

As a caution,  these guys appear to be easy going, lumbering gentle giants, but a toddler was trampled this weekend by a moose that was startled.  They are heading into mating season – September and October – and everyone knows how hormones affect behavior!  Just be careful and enjoy the wildlife while remembering – they are wild life.

Anyone see any wildlife this weekend?  Please share your stories and/or pictures.

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