(CNN) — A 70-year-old man was killed by a cow moose after he tried to take photos of the animal and its newborn calves near his home in southern Alaska on Sunday, authorities said.

The man, Dale Chorman, was with a friend when the pair spotted a female moose and her two newborn calves in the city of Homer, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said.

“Dale was with another adult male and they were attempting to take photos of two newborn moose calves when the cow moose attacked Dale,” agency spokesperson Austin McDaniel told CNN in an email Tuesday.

An initial report says the moose charged the two men and kicked one of them. The other man was not injured, McDaniel said.

Chorman’s body was sent to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. CNN has sought more information from the medical examiner.

Chorman’s relatives are now remembering him as a loving father, husband and friend. However, they also are urging people to not blame the moose for his death.

“The moose, obviously, is not at fault. To the concerned neighbors, I say — quell your primate spear rattling. The ungulate mother need not die. She was just protecting her offspring,” Dale’s son, Nathan Chorman, wrote in a statement, according to CNN affiliate KTUU.

Dale was experienced around wildlife, according to his family. He’d said the previous day that the brush was thick enough to come across a wild animal by accident, Nathan wrote.

“I’m sure Dale was surprised too. On a given day, nobody expects to die on their own property doing something routine, even when the routine is fairly dangerous. But he would have accepted this outcome,” Nathan’s statement reads.

“This was not a hapless fool stumbling into danger — this was a person who went out looking for a great photo, knowing the risks, and got caught in a dangerous moment,” the son wrote.

A small adult female moose can weigh up to 800 pounds and be up to 6 feet tall, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

While in the company of her calves, a female moose will not hesitate to attack should a person come near them, McDaniel said.

“Cow moose with calves are known to be relentless in their efforts to defend their calves from perceived threats,” McDaniel said. “The Alaska wildlife troopers encourage Alaskans to not approach moose calves to take photos or attempt to pet them as there is likely a cow moose nearby.”

Homer is about 220 miles south of Anchorage on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.

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