During my coach journey from Calgary Airport to Fernie last week, a woman declared that her son and his girlfriend – both ski instructors – had been chased down the mountain by an angry moose, somewhere in Cedar Bowl. I’d almost forgotten about it – bar one anxious moose-related dream a couple of days ago – but the other day there was a sign at the top of the Bear Express chair saying: “Moose sighted on Red Tree Road – take care!”
I’ve been asking around to find out more about this potential hazard, and one afternoon I met someone who had seen the moose only an hour before, standing firmly in the middle of Red Tree Road, on the way back from the Red Tree black. He reported making a detour under the out-of-bounds rope to give her a wide berth. Bill Handley, who saw her from further away, said: “You could go up and pat her on the nose one day and she wouldn’t bat an eyelid, but next time she saw you, she would attack, and trample you to death – and she weighs 1200 pounds!”
Another local who “got stuck” telephoned mountain rescue, who tried to chase her away with the skidoo. “They’re dangerous, and it’s difficult to get them to move, even with a snowmobile,” confirmed Kevin Giffin, head of mountain rescue, adding that there was a family of around six moose living in the valley.
So far, my wildlife viewing has been limited to the occasional squirrel, ermine and finch – and I’ll be happy if it stays that way.
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