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Moose Tormented to Death by Students

Written by PETA | April 23, 2009


imagesofcolorado / CC

On Monday, a group of eighth graders at Colony Middle School in Palmer, Alaska, tormented a young moose on school grounds until the moose became so frightened that he repeatedly hurled himself into a fence until he died.

School officials won’t disclose what the students did to provoke the moose’s suicide, but we know one thing for sure: Bullying and violence toward animals often leads to or is part of an existing pattern of bullying and violence toward humans.

PETA has contacted the school’s principal, Mary McMahon, to request that Colony Middle School allow us to help it incorporate a humane-education program into its curriculum immediately. The only way that the school’s officials can prevent future tragic incidents is to teach their students to be compassionate toward animals.

Hopefully, Colony Middle School will take us up on our offer to help students cope with this crisis and learn to respect all living beings.

Written by Liz Graffeo

Commenting is closed.
  • donna says:

    im just a stickler for an eye for an eye if we started punishing people the exact same way they commited the crime it might get some clear messages accross i am an avid animal lover and i cant stand the fact that some 8th graders tortured a moose to the point that it commited suicide are you serious i think the kids need to be expelled and put into jail all of your mass murderers started with animals and eventually started murdering people if there is no punishment done then that shows them and everyone else that its ok to torture and kill an innocent animal stuff like this makes me sick

  • 7th grader from colony middle says:

    do people spaz out that much? first off you can’t blame this on Sarah Palin most of the people who blame her heard her name and liked the other candidate she can’t be a figure head for your hate.second most people haven’t hard many of the factors of the story like for instance did you we had a horrible winter this year? plus they couldn’t find the mother moose which means it was probably starving which wasn’t a great thing for surviving anyway! listen I know the kids who did this I’m not like them. it doesn’t mean that the whole school is like that. they also would not shoot a kid like some comments are suggesting that a columbinelike problem will pop up. these kids are sort of normal kids what they did was horrible everybody knows that but that is not enough to “ridicule them for the rest of their lives” and let me ask everybody something would this story get out if Sarah Palin wasn’t chosen for a vice presidential candidate ?

  • Raven says:

    Thanks to all for posting on the Frontiersman newspaper site about this outrage. It has come out that two boys were involved. Apparently other students were bystanders who cried tried to get help laughed or were running laps and unaware of what was going on. Apparently the school kept things hushed for legal and contractural reasons in part but none of this was released in the papers. The school spokesperson gave next to no information only enough to set off a storm and the local authorities stayed mum for several days and that stoked the fires as well. Then the school had the nerve to say they needed security against the public as if the public had been to blame for this sad incident. If there were any threats against the students I have not seen any yet and I read all the 400 plus comments in the Frontiersman. After the authorities finally issued a statement to the press the story was all turned around. According to the report the moose meat was not only immediately butchered and given to charity but the moose was weak and lying down and the moose was thin and sickly and already injured from a tough winter. It was as though the authorities were saying it was nothing to worry about because the moose was weak suffering starving and I believe they as much as said it was going to die anyway so no problem. However if the boys did not cause the moose death as the fish and game man and the local authorities finally claimed why were they disciplined by the school at all? Many students claim there were no teachers on the field at all and the boys used sticks to poke the yearling moose and threw big rocks at it. The authorities also explained that over 200 middle school students all around 12 and 13 years old were let out on the field at the same time for physical education and when the boys crowded the frightened animal the moose mistook the other students on the field as an extension of the threat it then felt. So the young yearling moose then panicked and tried to run away and accidentally ran into a chain link fence not understanding it would not give way and allow its escape and then died. By all accounts it seems evident that if the boys had left the young moose alone it might have died someday but it would not have likely died that day and certainly not in that way. But the authorities do not care to follow up and the school is keeping quiet. And since the animal has since been slaughtered and eaten by now there is no way for any higher legal authority to investigate. One can only hope the boys get some appropriate counseling and the other students will be safe in the future in such an environment where teachers seem to feel the students are capable of adult judgment and do not need closer supervision. A school official had the nerve to contact the newspaper editor and ask him to stop printing the letters about this. Does that not beat all?

  • Don says:

    Hey people here’s some facts you might like to even think about before you start charging botu thesekids. 1. The moose was a yearling and did not have antlers. It had “nubs” or in words you can understand “baby antlers” and the antlers did not go back into it’s skull causing brain damamge. there is a reason why the anchorage police are bringing in a biologist to do an autoposy. the cause of death is not known. plus if you think about it. “hurling itself” at a metal fence picture a chain link fence about 68 feet high and you’d know what kind of fence it is. all the moose would do it bounce off and not get harmed from it. So instead of going by rtade school rumours why not instead look at the facts use your own brain and actually think about what might have happened. No kid chased this moose into a fence No kid beat this mooose and in fact no Kid even went near this moose as common sense would dictate otherwise.

  • megan hefner says:

    This story is truly sad but what is also disturbing is how these children are being treated and portrayed as well. You do not solve violence and ignorance with more violence and ignorance. What these children which is exactly what they are did showed total lack in judgement compassion andor a willingness to take a stand. That is what needs to be taught among children nowadays. They don’t need to be called names… Public schools need more funding and better trained teachers and staff in order to prevent unfortunate incidents like this from happening! I hope that this school and many others take PETA up on the offer!

  • eliane erb says:

    I think every single act of barbary against a human or an animal whatever the age of the person should be reported .It might save lives in future by helping to arrest serial killers for example

  • Amanda Jacobson-Eddy says:

    How terrible! Where was the supervision?! Not only should PETA implement a program but those kids should be made to also go speak to their peers about the ethical treatment of animals!

  • Linda Bresser says:

    This is horrible and reinforces once again how sensitive animals are. A couple of thoughts First to the comment that children should be homeschooled to learn values what makes you think parents would necessarily instill them? Second I bet some of the kids watching were not participating and felt sympathy but were afraid to get help. Kids should receive assertiveness training as well as sensitivity training. Finally I wish the poor factory farmed animals could escape their fate somehow even if it meant suicide. They have no recourse at all and must endure an entire shortened life of misery pain and fear.

  • Chris says:

    A similar incident happened in Rome New York except the boys involved tortured a goose until it died. Criminal charges were brought due to the public outcry. How can we follow up on this story and make certain that the school principal institutes corrective action? Should we write letters? PETA..let us know how we can help!!!

  • Charlene says:

    These kids are just an example of their parents that have no compassion for animals. I would be willing to bet all of the kids and their parents eat meat…yes they are bullies!

  • brandie says:

    How sad. And I sure the parents and the school don’t understand how such ‘good” kids could do a thing like that. After all I am sure the parents are saying “my johnny wouldn’t hurt a fly.” Yeah maybe he wouldn’t hurt a fly but he would hurt a moose! I agree that if someone can hurt an animal they are willing and able to go just as far with a human. Lack of self control discipline and education and anger management all play a part. I think it is such a good idea that PETA wants to give an educational class. The school officials won’t comment because they probably don’t wanna admit fault.

  • emily says:

    THOSE JERKS!!!! How dare they be mean to that poor animal. Animals have feelings too and they don’t deserve to be treated unfairly. STOP ANIMAL ABUSE!!!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    This is why I believe in home schooling. Parents need to take charge of their children’s education instead of trusting outsiders with different values to do it.

  • oceanworior says:

    these little thugs are cowards. Alaska has some of the worst cruelty towards wildlife. you have the ignorant Governor Sarah palin who thinks dinosaurs went extinct because of the flood and denies global warming and is apposed to conservation and animal welfare. people who pick of animals are the most cowardly people alive. children like that should be held responsible and punished for their cruelty towards a sentient being.

  • Amy says:

    I blame Sarah Palin. She needs to stop killing inoccent animals and start helping to restore Alaska’s wildlife. If she is aloud to continue murdering animals and destroying forests for big oil’s greed there will be no Alaska for anyone to enjoy not just the poor moose!

  • Wendy says:

    This is such a sad heart wrenching story. I can’t believe anyone would do this and think it was an ok thing to do. I hope they let PETA in and they can show these kids a few things about animal abuse. I hate hearing what adults do to any animal let alone kids. So sad!! Compassion for all living things!!!

  • Sarah says:

    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! An innocent creature was tortured and killed at the hands of bullies and cowards. This community needs to show that ANIMAL ABUSE IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Failure to work with PETA at this time could lead to more crimes in the future.

  • ashley says:

    well with sarah palin the moose murder as alaskas govenor no wonder these kids think its ok to torment these animals!

  • Sam Bogen says:

    This is disgusting. Kids are lacking respect more and more and it starts younger. I am so disgusted by many actions committed in my high school but this is just tragic. I honestly can’t believe 8th graders would take to this. I just don’t understand how anyone would take any satisfaction from torturing a moose.

  • Tamara Palmer says:

    Supervised community service should be involved also.

  • Justin says:

    I feel horrible after reading about this. Obviously I feel sorrow for the moose and the fear it must have felt in it’s last moments. However I also feel for the children as well. While their actions are totally unacceptable and need immediate correction we must also look at the adults they are surrounded by. Parents mentors older brotherssisters etc. must take more responsibility in the upbringing of our youth. Because if caring for animals and each other is never taught to these kids then it never even has the chance to be understood. Here’s to the school accepting PETA’s offer and a kinder world.

  • Ellie says:

    OH WHAT A SURPRISE LOOK WHO’S GOVERNOR That witch loves torturing and killing moose

  • Raven says:

    Unfortunately the school has been extremely vague about ordinary details about the incident and students have given conflicting stories. Some have said no teacher was there and one had to be summoned by students. Others said the moose had big rocks thrown at it and it was poked with sticks and yelled at. Others said there was no wall and it ran into a chain link fence one time attempting to escape the boys and died. The students descriptions sound more believeable than the school’s. After much ado it has finally come out that two boys were involved and they have been suspended. The secrecy around the story by the school has only made the situation more inflammatory than it probably ought to be. But yes children must learn better respect for the creatures we share our planet with. Most children in Alaska learn better behavior than this at home. I believe what upset so many people was in part that this was an apparently deliberate act and it was so unnecessary. The school has given apparently inaccurate information to the public and this raises suspicions about their motives and about the facts of the incident. And it remains that by all accounts animal abuse happened and an animal died needlessly as a result. Wild animals need space. If it had been an adult or mother it would have charged the boys. Their behavior was atypical of most Alaskan children and it was cruel.

  • Jaquie says:

    They should be suspended or expelled from school their parents should be called to the school and the students made an example off for bullying and unaccepatble behaviour.

  • Jackie says:

    I think the school should teach those students to be more compassionate towards animals. As for punishing those bullies if the school doesn’t sufficently teach them how wrong their actions were. I have one word for that school Columbine

  • maurikelly23 says:

    Wow how sad… That poor moose They are such gentle creatures and children can be sooooo cruel! I really hope that these kids get taught a lesson in compassion towards animals!Shame on the parents for having such awful children!!

  • lynda downie says:

    Little bastards!!!

  • Jamie Rivet says:

    Sad story.

  • Gina says:

    What a bunch of scumbags they probably live miserable lives because nobody loves them not even their parents. So they decide to get their anger out on a poor innocent creature which is BS! I hope they get far worse punishment for what they did.

  • I love PETA! says:


  • nicole white says:

    you would think ids who live in alaska would be aware of these animals and live side by side with them in their habitat. Surely somebody would have seen this the stupid kids ought to be taught a lesson.

  • pet says:

    This is disgusting and horrible!!! How could they?? I remember when i was in 6th grade some boys were taunting a loose dog and i told them to stop hurling stones at it then they threw their new baseball at it to hurt it the dog caught it and took off.

  • NT says:

    Those kids need psychotherapy and fast!

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Sarah Palin’s sadistic animal killing Alaska is rife with too many human demons who have no reverence for the lives of our fellow creatures.

  • Karen Saucedo says:

    8th graders….hmmmm…seems something is missing here. Should kids this old have to be taught to be humane and compassionate? I think they need just a bit more than some education. I think they need some punishment. Don’t pussyfoot around these sick little brats.

  • mitchell says:

    i hope they get punished and learn their lesson for causing the moose to suffer like that. just goes to show you where respect has gone to.

  • Margo says:

    So who is going to be held accountable for this horrible incident? Keep these less than human beings in school and make them think about what they did. Educate them about wildlife plants animals of all species and encourage them to educate others. Make their punishment fit their crime in that they come full circle and become gracious compassionate and welleducated human beings.

  • Kelley says:

    What a bunch of little sociopaths. I am sure they do not come from humane homes…

  • Pepsi One is Fun says:

    Man that is messed up. This is exactly why the names of minors who commit crimes should be released in newspapers when reported on. So people can ridicule the crap out of them for the rest of their lives.

  • andrea says:

    Even better than banning the kids from the school would be teaching them to be compassionate human beings. I hope the school takes peta up on it’s offer.

  • Raina says:

    i think thats just mean. PETA is right this is like a pattern to bullying violence towards humans so why do it to animals?

  • Salea says:

    How tragic. This story in particular upsets me greatly. I really hope they take PETA up on their offer and that those brats feel horrible for that they did.

  • caleb says:

    I beleive that the students involved should not be allowed to remain at the school. The need to be taught the correct way to treat animals and hopefully PETA can help them.