Downtown Aspen had a special visitor Thursday morning.
Just before 7 a.m., Pitkin County Sheriff's Deputy Anthony Todaro turned onto East Hopkins Avenue and thought he was seeing things.
“It was just really funny because there was that split second where I was like, there’s no way that’s a moose,” recounted Todaro.
The deputy used his cell phone to get footage of the early-morning encounter with a young bull moose. The video was posted on the Aspen Police Department’s Facebook page and received more than 5,000 views within a few hours of the post.
Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said this is the first reported moose sighting in Aspen proper — ever. Linn warns that the animals are aggressive and asks that the many visitors to Aspen during the popular Food and Wine Classic, which kicks off today, to keep their distance.
“You know people get really close to bears in town to try and take pictures or get selfies with them, that would go so badly with a moose, ” said Linn.
There have been a couple of moose sightings near Moore Open Space recently, and another moose has been hanging around the Aspen Music Festival and School campus this week.
Besides responding to calls when there are sightings, Linn said there is not much law enforcement can do to restrict moose from entering city limits.