• Outdoors Outdoors

Moose was 'not at fault' in fatal attack on man photographing her calves: 'She was just protecting her offspring'

"This was a person who went out looking for a great photo, knowing the risks."

"This was a person who went out looking for a great photo, knowing the risks."

Photo Credit: iStock

In a tragic incident, a female moose killed 70-year-old Dale Chorman, who had attempted to take photographs of her calves, according to Alaska officials.

The photographer was reported to have been walking in the brush near his home in search of the moose calves. 

When Chorman got too close to the offspring, the mother became agitated and violent in order to protect her newborns. 

As The Washington Post reported, Chorman's son Nathan said his father "was intimately familiar with nature, and had no naivete about its danger." 

"This was not a hapless fool stumbling into danger," Nathan said. "This was a person who went out looking for a great photo, knowing the risks, and got caught in a dangerous moment. The moose, obviously, is not at fault. … She was just protecting her offspring."

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game explains that moose "usually flee" when they feel threatened "but under certain circumstances, they can become aggressive"; more people in Alaska are injured by moose than by bears each year. 

The Anchorage Daily News also warns that cow moose are more inclined to aggressive behavior toward humans during late spring and summer, when their calves are young and need protecting. 

Though photography is a wonderful way to document the beauty of the world around us, this story serves as a cautionary tale against approaching animals that may act unpredictably when stressed or scared. 

Unfortunately, some tourists still decide to get far too close to wild animals such as elk, bison, or bears all for a social media-worthy snapshot. 

By choosing to observe wildlife from a safe distance instead of intruding on their space within their natural habitat, we can ensure safety for ourselves as well as the animals. 

"Humans are constantly and increasingly encroaching on other habitats, which disrupts its balance and causes some species to become very aggressive in order to protect their members and territories," one commenter wrote on a New York Post article covering the story. 

"Know your limits. Leave 800-lb wild animals alone," another comment advised.

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