"They can fly and they can land. Just not very well," stated Howard Peterson.Howard Peterson, the swing-shift Alaska State Trooper based in Girdwood was driving on the Seward Highway Feb 2 2008 when something big and black came falling from the sky. It landed about 20 feet from his car that night and he stated that all he could think of, was that it was a falling rock. He braced himself to steer clear of it if it bounced his way on the road.
When the rock didn't shatter or bounce though, his mind could only come up with one crazy image........ falling moose? The moose landed on the road only a few feet from his car and he estimates that it fell about 150 feet off the roadside cliff. Then he stated, he began to wonder...... had the moose jumped?
"How would you say it -- moose-icide? He probably thought he was the only moose, with all those sheep around," stated Peterson.
Most likely though is that something spooked the moose and it just misstepped. Wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott stated that moose don't usually jump but he does feel that it may have just slipped of stepped too close to the edge and the snow gave way under it. Sinnott has seen many and heard many ways that moose have found to die from falling through ice and off small banks, jumping off railroad bridges at the sound of a train and even has seen two bull moose who died while rutting because their antlers became hooked together with a strand of barbed wire. He doesn't believe that they jump off 150 foot high cliffs.
Peterson though thinks they may have to add a new sign to that stretch of highway.... "Caution - falling moose." The moose didn't die in vain though, Peterson snapped a few pictures of it and then contacted a group that salvages road kill so that it was donated to charity.
Evidently, Rocky has lost his partner Bullwinkle, all because he chose to not pull a rabbit out of a hat, but instead..... wanted to see what it was like to fly.