An 85-year-old Alaska woman used a shovel to beat back a moose that had stomped her 82-year-old husband and then charged her, the Anchorage Daily News reports from The Last Frontier.
George Murphy, a well-known bush pilot, suffered seven broken ribs and gashes to his head and left leg. His wife, Dorothea Taylor, was unhurt in the confrontation Friday morning as they exercised their two golden retrievers at the Willow Airport.
"He was way off. Jeez, he spotted me and he started to come right after me," Murphy said Sunday from his hospital bed (video). "So I was trying to get to the truck. But I didn't make it."
With no trees or other protection, Murphy dove into the deep snow. "He started to stomp. Then he turned around and stomped again. And there was nothing I could do. I was afraid he was going to kill me."
Taylor, 5 feet tall and 97 pounds, heard the dogs barking and jumped out to investigate. "I thought he was trying to kill Fellar, the old dog," she said. Unaware that her husband was down in the snow or that the beast was attacking him, she ran toward the animals.
The moose then came at her.
Taylor hurried back to the truck, grabbed a grain shovel, and then made a bee line for the moose. Swinging mostly at the animal's rump, she whacked it at least once on the head.
"When it turned and started to go off slowly, I hit it with everything I had," she said. The younger dog, Tut, then chased the moose away.
Neither is upset at the moose. This winter has been harsh, with extreme cold (Taylor estimated it was minus 30 at the time) and deep snow causing stress and starvation.
"They're just at the end of their rope," Murphy said. "They'll just strike out at anything."