Snowmobilers let the moose loose

Snowmobilers rescue moose buried neck-deep in snow in western Newfoundland

A group of snowmobilers pulled out their shovels to free a stuck moose after spotting its head poking out of freshly fallen snow in western Newfoundland.

Jonathan Anstey, who owns a snowmobile riding clinic, said he and about seven other riders set out on the trails near Deer Lake, N.L., on Saturday, when for the first time in two weeks, the terrain was blanketed in a thick layer powder.

As they veered off the main road, the group spotted a moose neck-deep amid the white expanse, buried in what Anstey estimated to be six feet, or 1.8 metres, of snow.

RELATED: Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers

“We knew the moose was stuck really good,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. ”He tried several times to get himself out of the hole, but he wasn’t getting anywhere.”

Anstey said the moose appeared to have gotten stuck in a bog hole and was trying to climb out, but its hind legs seemed to be firmly planted in the snow.

“When a moose gets distressed, they pin their ears back, their hair stands up on their back, and they lick their lips a lot,” he said. “You could tell he was extremely distressed.”

He said some members of his group grabbed shovels and walked around to the rear of the moose, where they figured they would be safe from the animal’s thrashing.

“After he realized he wasn’t moving, he just kind of stopped and lay down,” said Anstey.

After a few minutes of digging, Anstey said they had carved out a path behind the moose, and one of the snowmobilers rode up to the animal to coax it to turn around.

RELATED: Stranded deer rescued from frozen lake near Kamloops

“The moose actually realized it had footing on solid ground and managed to pull himself out of the hole,” he said.

The liberated moose hung around for a bit to dry off, Anstey said, occasionally looking at its rescuers as if to say ”a little thank you” before trotting away.

Anstey said it isn’t uncommon for people to come across moose in sticky situations while exploring Newfoundland’s back-country, but he would advise them to contact provincial officials rather than taking matters into their own hands.

“I wouldn’t recommend rescuing it even though we did, because we’re experienced outdoorsmen,” he said. “You don’t really want to get close to a big animal like that as they can charge or do a lot of damage.”

Even though this is his second moose rescue, Anstey said he tries not intervene in animal affairs.

“We’d like to be known as a back-country riding clinic and not a moose rescuer,” said Anstey. ”We do what we need to do to help the wild as much as possible and give them their space.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Saanich resident sends distress signal over cell-phone tower

Wes Solomonson says proposed cell-tower will undermine value of his rural Saanich home

Caring trumps racism for retired Langford fire chief

Support for Haitian orphans continues

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Third Victoria person pricked by needle in past week

Police say this one appears to have been deliberately placed

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Boat capsizes in Caddy Bay

Two members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club Race Team spent part… Continue reading

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Witnesses sought to reported sexual assault in downtown Victoria

Early morning incident happened near Quadra and View streets

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Most Read