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

2019 Federal election: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address seniors issues

“What are your party’s plans to ease the stress realized by seniors on fixed incomes?”

WATCH: Jordan now a key member on staff at Parksville business

Disability Awareness Month celebrated around province

RDN wants to play role in Ballenas track upgrade

Bringing dilapidated facility up to standard could cost close to $1M

Qualicum Beach joins in on global climate strike

Participants urge government to adequately address climate crisis

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read