by Phillip Manning ~ June 10th, 2013
On Thursday, June 6th, a visitor in Denali National Park shot and wounded a cow moose that he claimed was charging his party, which included two children. The incident was reported to park rangers, who dispatched an officer who found and killed the wounded animal. The shooting occurred in the area of the Denali Visitor Center, near the park entrance. Kris Fister, spokesperson for Denali National Park, states that the cow was lactating, but no calves have been found. According to Fister, the man claims he and his group walked around a corner in the trail when the moose charged them without provocation. The group attempted to evade the moose by hiding behind a tree, but the moose was not dissuaded and the visitor was forced to shoot the animal in self defense.
Until 2010, firearms were not permitted to be carried inside the original Mt. McKinley National Park boundaries. It is now legal to carry a weapon, but firing a gun is still illegal, except in the case of the defense of life and property. Fister says an investigation is underway to determine whether or not this incident falls under that category. The man who shot the moose is an Alaska resident, but his name has not been released, as he has not been charged with a crime. Fister says this is the first time an incident like this has occurred since the ban on firearms inside the park was lifted. v