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from Anchorage Daily News

    Bull moose runs over children

TRICK-OR-TREATERS: The 9-year-old and 6-year-old were not seriously injured.

By Peter Porco Anchorage Daily News

(Published: November 1, 2001)

Two children trick-or-treating with their father Wednesday evening in South Anchorage were run over by a bull moose the family may have spooked.

The children, 9-year-old Lydia Forbes and her 6-year-old brother, Taylor, were not seriously hurt, said their mother, Christine Forbes.

"He had a bloody nose, and she has a bruise on her back," Forbes said. "My husband was with them and just about got it too."

Paramedics examined the girl and boy at the scene and released them to their parents, said Dave Dodds, a paramedic battalion chief with the Anchorage Fire Department.

"Evidently the kids and their father were walking across their front yard and they spooked up a moose," Dodds said. "It bowled them over. . . . She has a minor scrape on her back -- that's about it."

The boy's bloody nose was also minor, Dodds said.

Anchorage police officers searched the neighborhood, near East Huffman Road and Lake Otis Parkway, and soon found a bull moose they believed to be the one involved, said Rick Sinnott, a state Department of Fish and Game biologist.

But the officers did not harm the animal. Although they got to within "five feet" of the moose, it calmly continued munching on a tree, Sinnott said.

Police told him the moose was not aggressive, he said. The father, Mark Forbes, told him the same thing.

Mark Forbes was in front of his son and daughter as they cut across the yard about 7:30 p.m. Suddenly the moose, which had been lying down, stood up right in front of Forbes, said Sinnott, who interviewed him.

"In retrospect, he doesn't know why he didn't see it," the biologist said. Yet it's easy to understand why not. The moose was "just a big black lump . . . half-obscured by low spruce trees," he said.

Mark Forbes raised his arms to take an expected hit, but the moose ran by him and through the kids.

"The moose was obviously trying to avoid him and probably didn't see the kids," Sinnott said.

"Halloween is a scary time for moose," the biologist said. "All those little goblins are running around out there," and a moose may try to evade trick-or-treaters on one street only to find more of them on another street, Sinnott said.

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