ANCHORAGE, Alaska — This is rutting season for moose, which means bulls are fighting for supremacy. One such encounter was recently filmed in Alaska, as two bulls battled within arm’s length of a group of people on Anchorage’s Powerline Trail.
According to a report from KTUU, the footage was taken by a hunter named Brian Watkins. The Alaska native actually instigated the brawl when he lured the two bulls in using a cow moose call. And it would appear he nearly got more than he bargained for.
The first bull responded within a few minutes of Watkins’ call. Not long after, a second bull came onto the scene, and they were among the largest bulls that Watkins had ever seen.
The two animals locked up and began battling through the area, oblivious to the humans watching nearby. At one point, they came within a few feet of Watkins.
When a pair of cyclists came along the trail, they joined Watkins and his friend in watching the bulls clash. After about 15 minutes, the battle was over and the moose moved on.
Watkins realized he had witnessed a rare moment. At the end of the video, he can be heard saying, “I’ve seen some fights, but nothing like that.”
According to the National Park Service, bull moose go through physiological changes during the rut that equip them for brutal battles. For example, their neck muscles expand to twice their normal size. However, it’s not unusual for the fights to result in serious injury or even death.
“Last night was nothing short of amazing,” Watkins wrote in a Facebook post the following day. “Words cannot describe how amazing the intensity and adrenaline was.”