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Dog scares off moose that attacked owner on Alaska walking trail, authorities say

By Sara Smart and Ashley R. Williams, CNN

(CNN) — A dog’s protective instincts kicked in when it scared off a moose that attacked its owner on a walking trail, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The incident happened the afternoon of December 18 in Soldotna, Alaska, while the man and his dog walked the Tsalteshi Trail, state troopers said in a news release Thursday.

As they exited the woods, authorities say a moose charged the man without notice, knocked him to the ground and kicked him multiple times.

He was able to get to a tree and snowbank as his dog barked and scared the moose away, the Tsalteshi Trails Association posted on Facebook.

The miles of trails are used for walking, running, hiking, biking and cross-country skiing, according to the association’s website.

“We are relieved to hear the man and his dogs are OK!” the association said on Facebook. “Please be extra careful keeping an eye out for wildlife.”

Though considered less dangerous than bears, moose attack more people in Alaska than bears do each year, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The trails association advised others to avoid the area for the rest of the day as moose were likely in the area and potentially “still stressed” after the incident.

“If this is the same cranky cow from this summer, she doesn’t have much patience for people yelling at her or trying to get her to move,” the association said, referring to a previously agitated moose spotted on the trails.

There were at least four moose in the area when the man was attacked, according to state troopers.

The man went to a hospital after suffering non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

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