Moose | KUNC

Moose

Heather Swanson
Rae Ellen Bichell / KUNC

Heather Swanson and Ryan Prioreschi monitor wildlife with the City of Boulder. They're standing in knee-high golden grass on a slope where the Rocky Mountains start slumping into the plains — the epicenter of a now-international animal epidemic. The ecologists have their binoculars out and they’re staring right at the problem.

A fawn is running circles around the rest of the herd, with the boing of a muscular slinky toy.

Ryan Hagerty / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Chronic wasting disease is crippling deer populations in the Mountain West, around the country and in bordering Canadian provinces. It's not a bacterium or a virus or even a fungus, but caused by something called a prion, a type of protein that all mammals have in their bodies.

Jacob W. Frank / NPS

Rescuers in Colorado hauled a bull moose to safety after it became trapped in a window well.

Summit Daily reported Sunday that rescuers first tranquilized the animal Saturday night before attempting a rescue from the five-foot-deep enclosure at a private home about 77 miles west of Denver.

In wide open spaces like the rural parts of the Mountain West, there's sometimes little known about the secret lives of plants and animals. There are too many square miles and too few scientists. That's where citizen scientists can come to the rescue.

Parks and Wildlife officials are putting a warning out there about a rise of dangerous interactions between moose and humans. A new video educates the public how to avoid interactions with moose.