By Andrea Romano
Updated March 03, 2020

PSA: Do not touch the wildlife. Ever.

A woman was caught on camera trying to pet a wild moose in Breckinridge, Colorado, CNN reported. The moose can be seen kicking its front legs at the woman in defense.

The video, posted by photographer Anna Stonehouse on Facebook, also features the shouts of people nearby telling the woman to get away from the moose. Stonehouse wrote on the video caption, “I thought I was going to witness her getting stomped to death!” Luckily, the woman seemed to be unharmed after the encounter.

Even though this incident didn’t lead to serious injuries or death, it doesn’t mean things couldn’t have gone much, much worse.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Twitter account posted the video with the caption, “Oh, do we sound like a broken record? Sorry but we’re not sorry. LEAVE WILDLIFE WILD. DO NOT FEED OR PET.”

If it seems like the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office is frustrated, they are. Even the National Park Services website has a full page dedicated to people safely watching wildlife (keyword here is “watching”). Hot tips include “give animals room” and “do not disturb.” They even posted a sarcastic “petting chart” on Facebook after a video of a girl being charged by a bison went viral.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to the Jack H. Berryman Institute and Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University, over 47,000 people annually seek medical attention after being injured or attacked by wildlife. According to District Wildlife Manager Elissa Slezak in a video for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the amount of moose attacks is actually increasing because curious animals tend to wander into the suburbs in search of food. Any Coloradan will tell you this is fairly common.

But attacks aren’t a simple fact of life. Many times, they can be prevented by being informed.

There are still a lot of people who assume if an animal is “gentle” or at least, not carnivorous, that means they won’t mind being approached or touched. For instance, the advent of social media has led to tourists taking selfies with wildlife, leading to accidents and death for both humans and animals.

Simply put, there is a right way and a wrong way to interact with animals. The right way? Mostly to keep your distance or only approach in a controlled environment where you’re sure it’ll be okay. This is both for your and the animal’s safety.

Unfortunately, this moose wasn’t in a national park with lots of signs warning not to approach, it was on the side of the road of a Colorado mountain town. However, it’s important to note that life is also not a petting zoo.