Moose relocated by CPW after being mistaken for home burglar
March 16, 2019
BRECKENRIDGE — A home invasion call in Breckenridge Friday morning led to the discovery of an unexpected intruder: an adult cow moose. Colorado Parks and Wildlife responded to the scene once the Breckenridge Police Department answered a suspected burglary call and realized this was no ordinary trespasser.
A guest of the homeowner sleeping in a basement bedroom with a young child was awakened by the sound of breaking glass and a loud entrance through a window. Suspecting a burglary, the frightened homeowner called the police. But when Breckenridge Police arrived on scene, they found it was a call better suited for CPW.
"It appeared that the moose had been walking around outside the house in deep snow when it fell into a window well, then crashed through the window into a basement bedroom," said Elissa Slezak, district wildlife manager with CPW. "The call originally came in as a burglary, but once responding officers saw the moose, they called us in to take the lead. When we arrived, the moose was actually pretty calm and didn't appear to be injured by the fall or the broken glass, so we immediately made a plan to remove her safely from the house."
CPW officers were able to tranquilize the moose, and with the help of Breckenridge Police and the Red, White & Blue Fire District, moved the cow through a tight stairwell to get her upstairs and back outside to an awaiting trailer. The moose was released into prime moose habitat in Grand County.
"We are really appreciative of the help from Breckenridge PD and the fire department," said Slezak. "It's not easy to maneuver in a tight space while trying to carry such a large, heavy animal, and the team worked with us to haul the moose up the stairs and get it out of the house."
"Aside from the broken window, a few minor cuts and the initial shock to the homeowners, this situation went about as well as it could have," Slezak said. "Both the people inside the house and the moose made it out without any major injuries."
Living with wildlife in Colorado means homeowners should consider options to help keep their property and our wildlife safe, including protecting below-ground windows and covering the window wells with grates specifically designed to keep wildlife from falling in.
For additional information on living with wildlife, visit cpw.state.co.us.