Photographer describes moose encounter with tubers in Steamboat | CraigDailyPress.com

Photographer describes moose encounter with tubers in Steamboat

Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs resident Bob Kearful captured this picture Friday of moose approaching two tubers on the Yampa River.

— A wildlife official says he is thankful an encounter between moose and tubers last week did not escalate into a more dangerous situation.

Bob Kearful was in his home office Friday in the Tree Haus subdivision overlooking the Yampa River when he spotted the cow moose and its two calves. Kearful grabbed his Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera and 200-millimeter lens and stepped out onto his porch.

Among the images Kearful captured was a shot of the moose on a course to intercept two tubers. Kearful said the moose did not see the tubers coming.

The tubers said they were a little concerned at first. The moose stared them down but allowed them to pass without incident.

"When the moose saw the tubers, she just stopped and let the tubers pass, and she went across the river," Kearful said. "They were not aggressive."

After crossing, the moose went into the bushes and nearby wetlands.

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Kearful shared his photo with the Steamboat Pilot & Today, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and 7News in Denver. The photo reached nearly 42,000 people on the Pilot & Today's Facebook page and was shared 205 times. On the 7News Facebook page, the photos was liked by more than 2,500 people and shared nearly 750 times.

The section of river where the moose crossed is used often by tubers and is very popular with anglers.

"It's one of those things that we are thankful that it didn't turn into a conflict, but it certainly could have," Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said.

Moose can be very aggressive, especially when they are with calves.

"It's very possible that this moose developed a tolerance for people," Porras said.

Porras noted that there were no dogs around, and dogs seem to be a catalyst for conflicts between moose and humans.

"If dogs were in the area, that could have turned into a different situation," Porras said.

Since September 2013, three women have been attacked by moose while walking dogs in the Steamboat Springs area. All the women survived the attacks.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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