A Marathon man figures a riled-up moose is responsible for about $5,000 in damage to his sport utility vehicle.

Tom Lanos, who owns a camp at Hare Lake just west of Marathon, parked his vehicle by the shore before heading to the cottage by boat.

When he returned, he found his SUV badly dented, scratched and some pieces — like the licence plate holder and part of the bug deflector — were broken off.

hare lake, ON

"First I thought … it was vandalism and then my second thought was a bear," Lanos said. "But that's when I noticed the moose tracks and basically surmised what had happened."

Lanos said he believes a bull moose butted, scratched and punctured his 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander with its antlers.

"I'm not sure what he was doing," he said. "Maybe he did it early in the morning and saw his reflection, or maybe he just had love on his mind. I don't know."

Lanos said he also saw hair and nose prints on the vehicle. The SUV was covered in scrapes where the moose appears to have dragged its antlers across.

'Fingers crossed'

In the 12 years Lanos has owned his camp, he said he’s never experienced anything like this.

"[I’m] very surprised. It was a great weekend up until that point and everything was going just so smooth," Lanos said.

"And it was all over in a minute when I saw that."

Lanos said his biggest concern now is where to park his vehicle in the future. But he admitted he doesn't have much choice but to park where he always has.

"I've just got to cross my fingers that this never happens again," he said.

Lanos was able to drive his vehicle back to Marathon and said he will get it repaired.