Grand Mesa Moose Day honors giant animal with presentations and prizes
WHAT: Grand Mesa Moose Day
WHEN: Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: U.S. Forest Service Visitor’s Center (20090 Baron Lake Dr., Hwy 65 and FR 121).
Pack a picnic and head to higher elevations for the fifth annual Grand Mesa Moose Day on Saturday, July 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free event will kick off at the U.S. Forest Service Visitor’s Center (20090 Baron Lake Drive, Hwy 65 and FR 121). Food will not be provided at Moose Day, so picnic lunches are suggested.
Grand Mesa Moose Day started five years ago due to the successful introduction of moose on Grand Mesa over the last decade. Between 2005 and 2007, 91 moose were transplanted from other areas of the state and Utah. The current moose count is around 430.
“Moose are popular and people respect them, so we wanted to celebrate them and explain how to view them safely,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife watchable wildlife coordinator Trina Romero said.
According to a news release, “Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, U.S. Forest Service personnel and a variety of partners will be on-hand to answer questions and lead activities, including a puppet show for kids and prize giveaways throughout the day.
Presentations will include topics like “moose biology and history, moose viewing tips, and information about how biologists transplant and track moose,” the news release continued.
And though moose sightings on Grand Mesa can be few and far between, Romero said the possibility of seeing one while driving through the area is likely.
“Everybody asks me where they can see moose on the Mesa,” Romero said. “If you want to increase your chances of seeing one, come to the celebration this year and learn where and how from the experts.”
SAFETY FIRST WHILE OBSERVING MOOSE
According to Romero, if a moose encounter occurs, the animals are best viewed from a distance. And if a dog is present, moose will attack because they view canines as natural predators.
“I suggest using binoculars or spotting scope and appreciate them from a distance,” she added.
If a moose does charge, Romero suggests hiding behind a large object as people can move faster around large objects than a moose due to sheer mass. The large beast can run up to 35 miles per hour, weigh up to 1,000 pounds and stand six feet tall at the shoulder.
If attending Moose Day, please leave your dogs at home.
For more information, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/gmug.
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