82-year-old woman survives moose attack on JBER

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 6:36 PM AKDT
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On Tuesday, an 82-year-old woman was walking along a path on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson at the Eagleglen Fitness Park when she was attacked by a moose.

Donna Rodgers, who is a veteran, was on the phone with her son in Washington when the attack happened.

“She just goes oh, there's a moose,” said Brad Rodgers, Donna’s son. “And then I heard that dogs run after them. They were barking like crazy. So I had no idea what was going on. I was hearing these, you know, curdling screams.”

Rodgers listened as her mother went over to a large sign. She used the sign as a barrier for about 20 minutes as the moose continued coming back and trying to attack her.

“She kicked, kicked me here and I have a big scrape,” Donna Rodgers said.

Her son eventually got a hold of his sister, who lives in Alaska, and her fiance. They contacted emergency services on base and officials found a frightened Donna and an angry moose.

Rodgers came away only with bruises and recovered all three dogs that were with her.

“The good Lord wanted me to live another day,” she said.

Mark Sledge, a JBER Conservation Law Enforcement Officer, said Rodgers was smart to take cover behind the sign. If you find yourself in a position where a Moose is being aggressive, taking cover could help.

Sledge also said that dogs should be controlled in an outdoor environment in case you do run into a moose. Even little dogs that bark could be perceived as a threat to a mother moose.

“They see the dog as something predatory,” Sledge said. “And, and they're automatically they're going to amp up that much quicker. So it's just a matter of paying attention and making sure you keep your dogs under control and because no If they chase the animal the animals are going to start chasing them and they're gonna come back to the owner.”

Both Sledge and Rodgers want to remind everyone to be aware of their surroundings at all times, but especially during the calving season.