I had my first and only moose encounter a few years ago, while biking along a wooded path in Anchorage, Alaska. A mother moose and her baby were blocking the way. The sun was going down. And cyclists were piling up.
All of us were afraid to spark the wrath of a protective moose mom. But not one of us was willing to bike the several miles back in the opposite direction to the nearest road.
Eventually, our group of two-wheeled strangers grew big enough to gather a collective sort of courage. We counted to three, avoided eye contact and quietly glided past the moose. The monstrous animals barely looked up.
The mountain biker in this video above was not so lucky.
According to the YouTube link, Evan van der Spuy of Team Jeep South Africa was racing at Albert Falls Dam when a huge red hartebeest — a type of antelope — literally bowled him over. His teammate just happened to be riding behind him with a video camera on his handlebars.
Commentary on the accident by the news site RightThisMinute explains that these animals weigh an average of 330 pounds. They can run as fast as 40 miles per hour. Luckily, van der Spuy walked away with just a bit of whiplash.
The crash is painful to watch, and the rider's moans are painful to listen to. But the video offers some important public health messages: Always wear a helmet on your bike. And when you're out biking, running or hiking, keep an eye out for wild animals. They really are wild.
Have you ever had any scary animal encounters on your wilderness adventures?