It sounds like the opening line of a joke.
Earlier this month, a man was running in New Brunswick, Canada when he was attacked by a moose.
Paul Gallant was jogging along the waterfront when he came upon a moose, just 20 meters away from him, standing on the path. His plan to take slow steps backwards didn’t work – the moose began walking towards him – so he moved off the path and into the ditch. That didn’t work either.
After thinking he was able to sneak past the moose, the moose surprised him by charging, three times. Onlookers called 911. When all was said and done, Gallant was lucky – left only with a bruised lip, a broken vein, a bump on his forehead and a battered and scratched body. He managed to avoid the antlers.
September and October are mating season for moose and spring is when calves are born, so they are more aggressive, particularly if you enter their space. That being said, attacks are incredibly rare.
Rare, but not unheard of. Earlier this summer, a woman and her training partner were surprised by a grizzly and her cubs in Alberta, Canada.
So what do you do if you find yourself running with wildlife? Follow these tips from Running Magazine to stay safe on the trail.
Running with Wildlife: Bears
Make noise while you’re running. If you’re with a friend, talk while running but if you’re out solo, wear a bear bell. According to Running Magazine, the University of Northern British Columbia’s tongue-in-cheek advice to students is to call out “yo, bear!” every 50 paces when they’re on the trails around the campus.
Note that if you encounter a bear the first thing you should do is determine if it’s a black bear or a grizzly. If it’s a black bear, yelling will usually startle it away – but don’t yell at a grizzly. Back away slowly, but don’t run; running signals you’re prey to be chased and no, you will not outrun the bear.
Running with Wildlife: Moose
Did you know moose actually attack more than bears do? If you encounter a moose, you can run away from it – it likely won’t cause it to chase after you and could actually prevent an attack. If a moose does charge, hiding in the ditch or climbing a tree can help, they have bad eyesight.
If you are running with a dog in moose country, keep it on a leash. Moose might think it’s a wolf and attack, since wolves are a common predator of their calves.
Running with Wildlife: Wolves
If you come across a wolf that hasn’t noticed you, leave the area as fast as possible. If it has noticed you, make yourself as big as possible while avoiding eye contact. Do not run, and without turning your back walk away slowly.
Running with Wildlife: Coyotes
Usually, making noise and making yourself appear larger will scare a coyote away. If it doesn’t work, there may be a cub nearby. Walk away slowly without turning your back to it.