A 78-year-old man escaped uninjured after a moose attacked him, knocked him down, and repeatedly tried to trample him with its front hooves, reports the Aspen Daily News. Using his ski pole, Alfred Braun of Aspen managed to defend himself against the beast last Thursday on Independence Pass.
“He was fearless,” snowboarder Justin Gordon said of Braun. Gordon, a bartender at Bootsy Bellows in Aspen, didn’t see the attack, but he arrived in time to help out in the aftermath of the incident. “The moose tried to trample him and somehow missed. He must be the luckiest man ever,” Gordon added.
Alfred’s daughter Becki said they were walking above the Independence Pass winter gate when the incident occurred. Becki was handling dogs in her care while Alfred was uphilling on cross-country skis. Becki said the dogs weren’t barking or trying to irritate the moose in other ways.
“He’s a bad-ass Austrian,” Becki said of her immigrant father, who has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 50-plus years. “He considers himself lucky that he wasn’t hurt, but he actually fought that moose off.”
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Backcountry snowboarders in the area also witnessed the attack, adding:
“There were two people and some dogs, and we knew it was going to be bad because there’s so much snow up there. There was nowhere for anybody to go,” he said. “The moose honed in on Alfred Braun, who used his ski pole to hit the moose in the face and the moose knocked him over. From our view, 50 yards or so away, it looked like the moose was on its hind legs, just killing the guy, stomping with reckless abandon,” he added.
One of the dogs in Becki Braun’s charge, Juno, a blue heeler, ran ahead of the moose, effectively leading it away from the scene.