Park rangers in Jefferson County, CO are requesting visitors do not feed the moose pizza.
Ranger Ben Stanley was on patrol near Clear Creek Canyon when he came across about a dozen people surrounding a young moose, trying to pet it and feed it pizza.
“It was kind of one of those situations where I kind of had to do the double-take like, did I really just see what I thought I saw?”
Ranger Ben Stanley told FOX31
The scared moose got scared and ran off into the woods, but it could’ve ended very differently. Moose can weigh up to 1,600-lbs, can run 30-mph, and can be very aggressive.
Took a report of visitors trying to pet and feed a moose pizza in Clear Creek Canyon on Sunday. Please don’t approach wildlife for any reason, moose can be extremely dangerous. Save the pizza for the Rangers. @JeffcoOpenSpace #jeffcotrails pic.twitter.com/mURXcSsv10
— Ben (@JCOSRangerBen) August 10, 2020
Not to mention that, obviously, pizza is not a part of the natural diet of moose, and could make the animals very sick.
“What’s basically happening is these people giving it food, they’re training it for its entire life to expect food from people which basically sets it up for more and more conflict throughout the rest of its life.”
– Ben Stanley
According to Jefferson County officials, incidents with animals have been on the rise this summer due to the increase in visitation. With this increased visitation comes more and more people inexperienced with the outdoors.
“From snakes, all the way up to moose just give them space. All they wanna do is their animal thing.”
– Ben Stanley
Want to feed the natives with your pizza? Give it to the rangers, said Ben.