• Outdoors Outdoors

Tourist records incredibly close encounter with moose while hiking at night: ‘Who in their right mind…’

“Make your presence known and slowly back away.”

"Make your presence known and slowly back away."

Photo Credit: @wecanmedia.de / TikTok

One tourist recently had an uncomfortably close encounter with an angry moose while hiking at night, and the video ended up on TikTok as a warning to other potential night hikers.

@wecanmedia.de #moose is #attacking me #nationalpark #capebreton #wildlife #elch #capebretonhighlands #canada #novascotia #america #wildlifeattack #dangerous #woods #hiking #night #trail #nighthike #scary ♬ Originalton – wecanmedia.de

“This is why it’s a bad idea to hike at night,” the video, posted by an account called wecanmedia.de (@wecanmedia.de), says. The hiker comes across a large moose standing in the trail having a midnight snack of some leaves. Shining a flashlight at the animal, he calls out to it, “Hey, bud. I need to go…”

However, as he moves toward the animal to get around it, the moose begins to trot off in the other direction, then stops abruptly and moves as if to charge toward him. When the hiker yells “Hey!” and begins to back away, the moose seems to decide that he is not worth the trouble. The hiker is clearly shaken by the experience.

While this hiker did not behave nearly as recklessly as some other tourists we’ve seen caught on camera — including one tourist who tried to get a close-up photo of a moose and was nearly trampled, another who approached a group of moose with their babies to get a picture, two drunk tourists who decided to touch a moose, and many others — their wildlife safety practices still left a bit to be desired.

According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, you should “always give the moose a lot of space … Stay calm and do not run away. Talk, make your presence known and slowly back away in the direction you came.” The hiker’s decision to try to walk around the moose he had just startled in the night does go contrary to this advice.

Visiting national parks and seeing wildlife can be very exciting, but we should always strive to do as little harm as possible during these encounters. Aggravating a wild animal so that it attacks is obviously a bad outcome for any tourist but also for the animal, as it may end up getting euthanized due to being a danger to people. These types of encounters are dangerous and stressful to the tourists, the animals, and the park rangers, whose job it is to protect both groups.

The commenters on the video were also not particularly impressed with how the hiker handled the situation. 

“Bad idea to shine a flashlight at a moose as they will charge at the light,” wrote one commenter.

“What is this natural selection? Who in their right mind would hike at night?” said another.

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