ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An elderly man was recovering Monday after being attacked by an agitated moose in Alaska, but the potentially fatal incident was thwarted by the man's 97-pound wife, who beat back the animal with a shovel.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An elderly man was recovering Monday after being attacked by an agitated moose in Alaska, but the potentially fatal incident was thwarted by the man's 97-pound wife, who beat back the animal with a shovel.

George Murphy, 82, was recovering in a hospital in Anchorage after sustaining gashes to his head and left leg, as well as seven broken ribs, the Anchorage Daily News reported

He and his wife, Dorothea Taylor, 85, told the newspaper they had been walking their dogs near the Willow Airport when the moose approached.

"He was way off. Jeez, he spotted me, and he started to come right after me. So I was trying to get to the truck. But I didn't make it," Murphy said.

Murphy dove into the deep snow for protection.

"He started to stomp. Then he turned around and stomped again. And there was nothing I could do. I was afraid he was going to kill me," he told the paper.

From inside the truck, Taylor, who stands 5 feet tall and weighs just 97 pounds, heard the dogs barking and jumped out to investigate.

The moose then turned its sights on her, and that was when Taylor grabbed a big grain shovel from the car.

Taylor said she took a swing at the moose, which still was stomping her snow-covered husband, and it backed off then reared up and stomped its target again, the newspaper said.

"So I kept hitting it some more," Taylor said.

She said she got a good whack on the rump and one on the moose's head.

"When it turned and started to go off slowly, I hit it with everything I had," she said.

Without a cellphone, Taylor then ran for help.

Neither Murphy nor Taylor are sure what set the moose off, but the newspaper noted a harsh winter and heavy snow.

"They don't actually have a heckuva lot to eat," Murphy said.