EDITOR’S NOTE: The video in this story includes explicit language.
A Central Alberta woman had a frightening encounter with a moose at an off-leash dog park earlier this week.
Tara Gilkie was walking her dogs Tucker and Murphy at Three Mile Bend in Red Deer, when the unexpected incident occurred.
“I saw Murphy standing in the path looking into the bushes,” said Gilkie.
“I was thinking, ‘I hope there’s not a moose down by the river.’ Then the next thing I know, a moose just darts out. I could not believe it. It kind of got chaotic.”
Gilkie has been bringing Tucker, who is about 13 years old, to the off-lease dog park since he was a puppy. She said any time she sees a moose or another person in the park warns her about wildlife near the path, she’ll put her dogs on a leash.
After the moose, which has two smaller moose with it, ducked back into the woods, Gilkie pulled out her phone to record how close the moose was. But the moose then ran back out and ended up right over Tucker.
“I didn’t know which way the moose was going to go. I was kind of frozen standing there. I was in a trance watching Tucker under this moose’s legs. I thought I was going to watch my dog get stomped to death,” said Gilkie.
“It felt like it was 10 minutes watching Tucker under her. It thought it was a long process, but when I watch the clip, it was only a few seconds.”
Fortunately, Gilkie and her dogs were OK.
The 10-second video was posted to TikTok earlier this week and has already received more than five million views. A short six-second followup video also has 232,000 views.
@taragilkie15 We are so lucky everyone is ok!! For the commentators…I would never allow my dogs this close to wildlife, had I of known she was there with two babies we would have turned around. #canadianhazards #reddeer #alberta #moose #threemilebend #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #canada #dogtok #dogmomlife ♬ original sound – Tara
Comments on the video were disabled after many left hateful comments regarding her dogs not being on leashes, Gilkie explained.
“I went to bed and it had like 20,000 views. When I woke up it was at like two million and the hate comments were just rolling in,” Gilkie said, adding she eventually disabled comments.
“Probably 85 per cent of people were defending me and saying kind things. But then there are the others who just rip you apart and are so mean.”
On its website, the City of Red Deer says anyone who experiences dangerous situations with large wildlife, such as moose, should contact Alberta Fish and Wildlife at 403-340-5142. For conflict situations, contact Medicine River Wildlife Centre to consult with the centre’s wildlife conflict specialist, the city’s website said.