There are reasons we in Summit County are used to being featured in the media from early snowfalls being mentioned during NFL broadcasts to young Olympians making the late night talk show rounds, and heck, even being a very early mover in the push to decriminalize and then recreationally legalize marijuana. Let’s just say Summit County is not a stranger to a little national attention.
But this recent round of notable news was strange enough to make Summit a cheeky punch line on Saturday Night Live. A man was witnessed chasing a moose onto a median and then photographed by a passerby on Frisco Main Street. Chasing. A. Moose.
Moose weigh between 800 and 1,200 pounds, can be six feet tall at the shoulder and can be aggressive. They can run at 35 miles per hour.
Wildlife interactions are always tricky by nature of the “wild” in wildlife. Public Service Announcement: It’s never, ever a good idea. Yes, while in nature and even in town, one may encounter nature and natural things, like deer and elk and moose and bear and eagles and chipmunks. This is part of the magic of living near and in wild places. Our conduct in these encounters is our responsibility, and can have repercussions for the animals. A universal truth would be don’t pursue and don’t feed; of course there is nuance when dealing with different species. But this is a solid place to start. Summit County Bear Aware is a great resource for learning more about responsible wildlife stewardship.
As for the SNL spot. A hilarious quip. And as for the man trying to make friends with the 1200-pound animal? He was featured in local and regional media, went viral on social media and was identified and found. He was not charged.
For more information about living with wildlife, here are some links.