A moose is probably the last thing you would expect to see after walking down your basement stairs. In Colorado, however, it’s a possibility.
Someone found a moose staring at them from across a basement ping-pong table Monday, Jan. 10, in Breckenridge, about 80 miles southwest of Denver.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials received a call about a moose loose in a home’s basement off Ski Hill Road.
The moose plunged into the basement and couldn’t get out, wildlife officials said.
“Officers responded and discovered a moose that had been grazing near a home had fallen through a snow-covered window well and into the home’s basement,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said in a Jan. 11 news release.
Wildlife officials opened the doors to help the moose escape the basement. The moose, however, couldn’t make it up the staircase.
Wildlife officials had to help the moose escape the home. They tranquilized the moose and cut off its antlers so it could fit through the stairwell.
Removing the moose’s antlers does not hurt or damage the animal because the antlers fall off this time of year and grow back in the spring, wildlife officials said.
The group carried the moose up the stairs and released it into a “quality moose habitat.” Wildlife officials did not say specifically where the moose was taken.
The creature was uninjured except for a small cut on a leg, Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Manager Jake Kay said.
Moose are massive animals, weighing between 800 and 1,200 pounds. They can stand up to 6 feet tall, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. They are “extremely curious” and want to check everything out.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife knows of at least 15 moose conflicts since 2013 where people have been injured. Dogs were involved in almost all of those conflicts, wildlife officials said.
The moose isn’t the first animal in Colorado to have entered a home through a window well, a hole around a window that allows for larger windows or an option for escape in an emergency.
In 2020, a 200-pound buck got stuck in a window well. It had to be tranquilized and carried through the home, McClatchy News reported.
“Removing vegetation that may attract wildlife around the vicinity of window wells and covering below ground window wells with approved grates that allow people to escape will reduce the likelihood of wildlife becoming trapped, or in this case, having an unwelcome visitor in the home,” Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington said in the news release.