It’s hard to find a significant other, even for moose.
On Tuesday, a lucky visitor in Silverton, Theresa Willingham Bush, captured a high-quality video of two big bull moose battling head-to-head for dominance and the right to reproduce.
The rare sighting, which occurred in South Mineral Creek, just west of Silverton, is typical for this time of year, said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski.
From late-August to mid-October, moose (as well as deer and elk) are in rut season, otherwise known as mating season.
Moose typically engage in two types of battling behavior: sparring, where the animals weighing as much as 1,600 pounds push each other back and forth; and fighting, which is more violent and can sometimes result in death.
In Bush’s video, one bull gets the other to the ground, the clear winner. The defeated bull regains his footing and is quickly run off.
“It will probably go off, lick its wounds and try to make it till next mating season,” Lewandowski said.
Lewandowski said it’s likely there is a female moose in the area, which triggered the fight.
Moose were all but nonexistent in the state of Colorado mid-century. But in 1978, Colorado Parks and Wildlife transplanted 12 moose to northern Colorado, and ever since, populations have improved and expanded.
CPW estimates there are almost 1,000 moose statewide.
Lewandowski cautioned those who want to see moose in the wild, recommending people leave their dogs at home.
“Dogs are viewed as wolves by moose, and we’ve had several instances over the past few years where someone is walking their dog, and a moose goes after the dog and the owner gets in the way,” he said. “And you don’t want to be run over by a 1,200-pound moose.”
Lewandowski also recommended to keep a safe distance from moose and bring binoculars.