An Eagle River woman remains in the intensive care unit of an Anchorage hospital days after being attacked by a moose.
Her brother, Greg Beck also of Eagle River, said Thursday that doctors told him it is a minor miracle she didn’t die after the enraged animal tried to stomp her into the ground.
“She has more broken ribs than ribs that aren’t broken,” Beck said, and lacerations all over her body from wounds inflicted by the moose’s feet.
“She had lots and lots of sutures,” Beck said. “They were suturing her up for hours.”
The attack happened in the Eaglewood subdivision in a suburb just north of Alaska’s largest city Monday evening. Beck said he lives near Eaglewood, and first learned about the attack when Anchorage Police called him to come get his sisters dogs.
When he got to Eaglewood, he said, paramedics were still waiting for police to chase the moose away from his sister so they could get to her.
“It was pretty rough,” he said.
His sister lost a lot of blood from the lacerations and suffered a punctured lung with the smashed ribs, but luckily, he said, there were no serious head injuries. He said she later told him she was walking the family dogs on an Eaglewood walkway when she came around a corner and found herself between the moose and its calves.
In the second she made that realization, he said, “the cow (moose) was on her.”
Beck said his sisters attending physician later said “it’s the worst moose attack he’s ever seen.”
Beck said doctors still aren’t sure when his sister might get out of the intensive care unit.
“The poor woman is bruised from head to toe,” he said. “There was a lot of trauma. It’s like being in a big car wreck.”
Doctors want to be sure his sister’s condition is stable before they move her out of the ICU. Beck has been paying regular visits to the hospital, but that’s a little weird.
“I had back surgery just a few weeks ago,” he said, “and she was at the hospital taking care of me.”
Now the roles are reversed. Beck, who has lived in Alaska for decades, said both he and his sister were both well aware of the dangers of moose, but sometimes things just happen. In this case, a momentary lapse in concentration on a dog walk almost proved deadly.
Cows with newborn calves can be extremely aggressive. Wildlife biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are warning people to be on the lookout for the big animals whenever outside this time of year and to make sure to give them plenty of space.