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WATCH: Moose Charges Snowmobiler, Catapults Over Handlebars

Earlier this month, Idaho sledder Jeremiah Bigelow captured heart-stopping footage of a moose charging his brother on a snowmobile.

According to Bigelow’s Instagram post, the two were riding along the trail when a moose wandered out of the woods and stepped between them. Bigelow, who was several yards behind his brother with his son and a couple of friends, hit the brakes. They tried to give the moose space but found they were unable to reverse. At this point, according to East Idaho News, the moose started to appear agitated. They were afraid it might charge.

A charging moose is not something to be trifled with. The animals can weigh up to 1,400 pounds and can run 35 miles per hour. Aware of the risks, Bigelow’s brother began to wave his arms, hoping to draw the moose away from the rest of the group. For a moment, the strategy appeared to work. The moose turned, then acted as if it would dash back into the woods and leave them alone. But at the last second, it changed its mind and charged.

In the video footage, you can see the rider hop back on his sled, trying desperately to start the engine.

“My brother thought he could hit the throttle and get out of there, but the engine died when he did,” Bigelow wrote in his post. “Had my brother not jumped [out of the way], he would have been crushed under the full weight if the moose against the handle bars.”

Instead, the rider dodges just as the moose slams into the sled at full speed, doing a full somersault over the snow machine’s handlebars. According to Bigelow’s post, the moose stood up and ran away shortly after. (The group later followed the animal’s tracks at a safe distance and didn’t see any signs of injury.) The rest of Bigelow’s family was also unharmed, albeit perhaps a little shaken.

“Lesson learned,” Bigelow wrote. “Brother should have continued on and given it more space.”

While moose typically only charge when provoked, they have been known to chase down innocent bystanders, including a dog walker in Alaska who was attacked earlier this year. As Bigelow suggests, the best thing to do when you encounter a moose is to back away slowly, speak in a calm voice, and give the animal plenty of room to walk away.

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