Not one but three moose show up in most unusual Northern Colorado location


Casey Zimmerman has seen elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, badgers and rattlesnakes since moving to an acreage between Wellington and Nunn in 2017.

He can add moose to that list. Make that three moose.

Zimmerman told the Coloradoan on Tuesday that he was walking out behind his house to do chores. When he returned to his house to grab his equipment for his pesticide control business, he saw what he first believed were three horses walking in his pasture.

He said the animals were about 500 yards away.

“At first I thought someone’s horses got loose in my pasture,” said Zimmerman, who owns horses. “Oh my gosh, I looked again and realized those weren’t horses but moose.”

He said the moose kept walking, eventually jumped over a fence onto his neighbor’s property and continued heading south.

He believes the three moose included a young bull and two young cows.

Three moose walk in a pasture on a ranchette between Wellington and Nunn, Colo., on July 2, 2024. It is unknown why the moose ventured so far from the mountains.Three moose walk in a pasture on a ranchette between Wellington and Nunn, Colo., on July 2, 2024. It is unknown why the moose ventured so far from the mountains.

Three moose walk in a pasture on a ranchette between Wellington and Nunn, Colo., on July 2, 2024. It is unknown why the moose ventured so far from the mountains.

“I’ve lived in the Wellington area my whole life and have only seen one moose east of I-25,” he said. “That was about 20 years ago, though my friend had one in his pond west of Wellington a year or two ago.”

Moose generally prefer forested areas with ponds and streams.

“I have one tree on my property and where I saw the moose was a very wide open pasture,” he said. “And there is a decent amount of houses around.”

Last year a moose wandered into Greeley, near downtown.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in previous news releases that moose typically have a home range of 3 to 6 miles but can widely wander seasonally in search of food and available habitat, which occasionally brings them into suburban areas.

The agency estimates the moose population at around 3,000 and growing dramatically.

Zimmerman speculated that maybe the moose were looking for new territory, maybe dry conditions had something to do with it or possibly wolves pushed them out of the mountains west of Wellington.

Colorado’s latest wolf activity map, tracking movement from May 21 to June 25, shows a wolf or wolves were detected in drainages that stretch east of Red Feather Lakes in northern Larimer County.

“Am I shocked I saw moose out here, yes, but not completely surprised,” said Zimmerman, who did not report the sighting to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “A few weeks ago we had a young bear in a cornfield southwest of here. It’s just wildlife being wildlife. I know it was pretty cool to see moose the first thing in the morning from the deck.”

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Colorado moose are known to wander but why here?



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