An Alaskan photographer ended up in this nightmare scenario after a scary moose encounter

May 30, 2024

Alaska is home to some breathtaking scenery and wildlife in the country. 

But every interaction between humans and wildlife comes with some risk.

And an Alaskan photographer ended up in this nightmare scenario after a scary moose encounter.

Alaska photographer killed after getting too close to a moose

One of the most important rules for visitors at any National Park or any nature is not to get too close to the wildlife.

An Alaska man learned this tragic lesson while trying to take the perfect picture.

70-year-old wildlife photographer Dale Chorman and his friend were wandering through his wooded property outside of Homer, Alaska in search of moose.

Chorman hoped to get a picture of a mother moose who had just given birth to two calves.

While the men were searching for the mother and her newborns, the mother moose startled them by charging out of the brush.

Moose like other wild animals become aggressive when they think there is a threat to their young.

“They both turned to run, and the friend looked back and saw Dale lying on the ground with the moose standing over him,” Chorman’s friend Tom Kizzia told the Associated Press.

Chorman lost his life in what appeared to be a fluke.

“There was no evident trampling, and they didn’t see any signs of trauma later when they recovered his body,” Kizzia said. “I think the medical examiner’s going to try to figure out exactly what happened, whether it was just a single blow in the terrible wrong place or something.”

Chorman’s friend tried to get help but by the time medics arrived, it was too late.

Moose are the tallest land animals in North America and can weigh more than 1,000 pounds while standing nearly 7 feet tall.

Every year in Alaska, they injure more people than bears.

Running into a calf in the wild should be a sign of danger because it means that the mother is nearby.

The photographer’s family doesn’t want the moose put down

His son, Nathan Chorman, said his father died doing what he loved.

“Dale was highly experienced around wildlife. He was intimately familiar with nature, and had no naivete about its danger,” Chorman said. “This was not a hapless fool stumbling into danger—this was a person who went out looking for a great photo, knowing the risks, and got caught in a dangerous moment.”

He added that his father wouldn’t want the moose killed because she was acting out of instinct to protect her young.

“The moose, obviously, is not at fault,” Chorman explained. “To the concerned neighbors, I say — quell your primate spear rattling. The ungulate mother need not die. She was just protecting her offspring. Dale had remarked the previous day that the brush was particularly thick this year — thick enough to get closer than intended, and surprise a wild animal by accident.”

Alaska Department of Fish and Game said that they were still investigating the incident.

Coming face to face with a moose is one of the riskiest moves that anyone can make in nature.

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