Alaska wildlife officials warned people to keep their distance from grumpy moose after two close calls this past weekend. One of the animals walked up behind a woman tending chickens in the city of Homer on Sunday and started eating chicken food from a bucket she carried. When she turned, the startled moose kicked her, the AP reports. "It pulled its nose out of the bucket, looked at her, reared back, and kicked her right in the noggin," says an assistant area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Another agitated moose twice charged skiers in a lift line Saturday at Alyeska Resort, a downhill ski venue in the resort town of Girdwood, says Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh.
At the ski resort, the moose was positioned at a blind corner. Skiers had to pass the animal to get to the lift line, and the moose became increasingly agitated and charged people twice. "It sort of ended up resembling the running of the bulls in Pamplona," Marsh says. No one was hurt, but authorities advised resort officials to shoot and kill the animal to remove the threat to skiers. "Not all moose are looking for a fight right now, but they do tend to get a little cranky this time of year," Marsh says. In summer, moose eat lush leaves, but they turn to twigs and other woody material in winter, which are not as nutritious. The animals are tired and ready for spring, Marsh says. (Canadians have been warned about car-licking moose.)