UAA officers shoot belligerent moose

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Campus police at the University of Alaska Anchorage shot and killed a cow moose Tuesday night after the animal had menaced students and charged the officers.

At one point, a student got trapped behind a light pole near the UAA Commons when the moose forced him to take refuge, said Sgt. Annie Endecott of the University Police Department.

''He kept dodging the moose,'' Endecott said. ''Every time he moved, the moose got real aggressive.''

The moose had been aggressive while wandering around the Commons area, according to police and students.

''Somebody warned us: 'Watch out! There's a moose over there with its ears down,''' said Aaron Wilson, a 22-year-old junior, referring to his encounter with the animal as he and a friend left the UAA Commons after dinner.

Officer Brad Munn arrived shortly after 6:30 p.m. and drove his patrol car along bike paths behind the Commons. On a small hill leading to dorms, he saw the moose 30-40 feet away, highly agitated.

''It was like a bronco,'' Munn said. ''It started bucking with its back legs, kicking outward, and even with its front, throwing that out. It was blowing air from its nose.''

Munn called Endecott, who a former Fish and Wildlife state trooper.

He drove around to another part of the campus to put himself between the moose and a frequently crossed area called the quad.

Standing near a corner of a dormitory, he pulled his shotgun out, watching the moose browse on a tree.

''I wasn't sure it was the same moose,'' he said. He got out of the car with his shotgun and was watching the animal when Endecott, who had arrived, walked up.

''It was maybe five car lengths away, just browsing,'' Endecott said. ''Out of the blue, it was (coming) at us, making funny noises with its teeth, its ears were down, the hair on its neck went up, and ... it cleared that distance quicker than I can imagine.''

Endecott told Munn to shoot as she jumped out of the way. He fired one slug when the moose was 15 feet away and a second when it was nearly on top of him, police said.

''It ran within a couple feet of us and kept going,'' said Endecott.

The animal ran into nearby woods where, more than two hours later, officers tracked it down with flashlights and Endecott finished it with two more slugs.

Another moose was shot on the UAA campus in January 1995. A cow, apparently protective of its calf, stomped a 71-year-old man to death outside the UAA Sports Center. Wildlife officials shot that moose four days later.

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