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Ride 'em, Mooseboy. Video captures Alaska man riding moose back

Posted: Monday, July 24, 2000

SOLDOTNA (AP) -- Ever look at a moose and wonder what it would be like to ride one? A Soldotna man apparently did.

A neighbor caught what turned out to be a very short rodeo ride on video in March of 1987, and the misadventure footage has resurfaced at the Los Angeles studios of ''Real TV.''

The show airs a mix of accidents, disasters and other caught-on-camera moments five days a week. It planned to show the moose cowboy segment late Friday.

According to ''Real TV'' producers, Kevin R. Smith discovered a moose in his front yard. He coaxed it closer with a bowl of grain and then jumped on the wild animal's back.

How long did he stay on?

''Uh, well, briefly,'' said Larry Fleece, executive producer of ''Real TV.''

''It's not quite the eight seconds required at the rodeo,'' Fleece said. ''I'd say it's more like a second and half.''

Fleece said the show does not condone jumping on wild animals.

''We just look for the most memorable tape,'' he said, ''and this one caught all our collective eyes here at the office.''

In other words, he offered the customary admonition: Don't try this at home.

Local moose biologists said they had never heard about anyone reckless enough to try riding one of the notoriously ornery animals, which grow taller than 6 feet at the shoulder and weigh over 1,000 pounds.

''A wild moose? Oh, my,'' said Kris Hundertmark, a biologist at the state's Moose Research Center north of Sterling. ''Number One, just from surprise alone, the thing's going to go ballistic.''

He described moose as having faster feet than Jackie Chan.

''They can kick with all four feet and in a 360-degree circle,'' Hundertmark said. ''They have no blind spots, and they are just deadly. They are so fast that you are not going to get out of the way, period.''



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