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

Victoria airport ready to comply with new safety regualtions

Transport Canada expected to make mandatory new runway buffer zones

B.C. Transit to reduce service for spring

Route changes come in to effect April 9

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

Oak Bay loses longtime volunteer

Bob Carter died March 18 at the age of 90

Why are these Saanich lots still sitting vacant?

Mayfair Lanes lot still empty, 12 years later

Student learns the ropes at Oak Bay fire in hands-on experience

Local department crafts four-day work experience program for Reynolds student

B.C. emergency alert system being tested Wednesday

Alarm tone and message will play on TV and radio

BC Conservatives pumped by poll results

Surge in popularity has BC party picturing elected representatives in Victoria

Vancouver Island university develops program to help kids cope with overdose crisis

A child and youth care professor worked with students to develop projects focused on children, families and communities dealing with opioids.

Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook data whistleblower in 2016: source

Cambridge Analytica has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts

No opting out: Canadians to get emergency alerts on their phones soon

Canada’s wireless providers are preparing for a looming update to the National Public Alerting System

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel

Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel and U.S. company ICM Partners

Texas bombing suspect blows himself up as SWAT moves in

The suspect in a spate of bombing attacks that have terrorized Austin over the past month blew himself up with an explosive device as authorities closed in

Witnesses: Boko Haram returns Nigerian kidnapped schoolgirls

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants have returned an unknown number of the 110 girls who were abducted from their Nigeria school a month ago.

Most Read