85-Year-Old Woman Fights Off Moose

Moose Attack from anchoragedailynews on Vimeo.

Forget purse-snatchers and door-to-door con men – one 85-year-old Alaskan woman had bigger problems to deal with earlier this week: a marauding moose.

Dorothea Taylor and her husband, 82-year-old George Murphy, were finishing up a walk with their two dogs last Friday at the Willow airport, near Anchorage, when Taylor decided to head back to the couple’s car.

When Taylor’s dogs began barking wildly, she saw a rogue moose attacking but didn’t immediately realize who was bearing the brunt of the beating.

“I thought he was trying to kill Fellar, the old dog,” Taylor said in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News.

In what she thought was an attempt to save her dog, the 97-pound Taylor rushed to the chaotic scene wielding a grain shovel the couple keeps in their car. She slammed it down repeatedly on the moose’s head and buttocks.

“I hit it with everything I had,” Taylor said in the interview. “Then I saw it wasn’t Fellar the moose was after at all. He was striking over the top of Fellar, to get George.”

“He spotted me and he started to come right after me. So I was trying to get to the truck. But I didn’t make it,” Murphy told the Anchorage Daily News. “He started to stomp. Then he turned around and stomped again. And there was nothing I could do. I was afraid he was going to kill me.”

After a few good whacks from Taylor, as well as having its legs snapped at by the dogs, the moose retreated. Without her cell phone on her, Taylor ran to a nearby hangar for help. Murphy was eventually taken to Providence Alaska Medical Centre via helicopter and was treated for seven broken ribs, a hurt leg and a six-inch cut across his head.

Despite the close call, Murphy holds no hard feelings toward the moose.

“They don’t actually have a heckuva lot to eat,” Murphy said in his interview. “They’re just at the end of their rope. They’ll just strike out at anything-..We still like to have the moose around.”

As far as her actions are concerned, Taylor says it’s nothing new in the 40-year marriage.

“Well, we’ve helped each other out of problems before,” Taylor said in the interview. “This just happened to be the latest.”