They make them tough up in Alaska, male and female, and 85-year-old Dorthea Taylor is a case in point. In the outdoors of Willow, Alaska, Taylor beat off a moose and saved her injured husband's life.
The two, married 40 years, were out near the airport in Willow, pop. about 1650, and Taylor's husband, 82-year-old George Murphy was rounding up their dogs, Fellar and King Tut; his wife waited in the truck. George, who the Alaska Daily News called a "well-known bush pilot" in the area, spotted a moose coming at him and right away knew he was in trouble. It just kept coming.
Moose fights Alaskan couple
Murphy could tell the moose was agitated. "He was way off. Jeez, he spotted me and he started to come right after me. So I was trying to get to the truck. But I didn't make it," he told the newspaper from his hospital bed in Alaska. "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."
The moose bowled Murphy over and reared up and stomped on him with its front hooves, and kept stomping. Meanwhile, Dorthea heard the dogs and the 5' tall, 97 pounder ran out to see what was going on. Once she saw the moose she doubled back to the truck and grabbed a shovel and charged the moose, whacking it.
The moose kept attacking so she kept whacking. One good shot hit the moose in the head and at last it stopped and turned. Once it did that she knew she could win. "I hit it with everything I had," she said. The moose had had enough and the dogs took over, chasing it away.
Moose badly wounds husband
The upshot is Murphy wound up in the hospital thanks to 7 broken ribs, a wounded left leg and a six-inch gash to his head. Neither he nor his wife are angry at the moose, though, they say they' can get both hungry and angry at this time of year and are liable to attack.
Murphy, who was not aware his wife was saving him, was pretty impressed when he realized what she'd done. He knows she saved his life. "Jeez, that was a pretty hard thing for anyone to do, to walk up on a moose like that," he said.
"Heck, all she had was a shovel."