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

Nanaimo school trustees will vote on pay increase

School district business committee recommends raise to offset new tax laws

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Nanaimo women look for forward steps at march

Nanaimo Women March On held downtown on Saturday

Nanaimo candidate, premier address spec tax at B.C. NDP event

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

RDN board to vote on spending $150,000 for mapping software

ESRI Canada successful RFP proponent, RDN to vote as part of 2019 budget

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

Vancouver Island to get its first publicly funded dementia village

Campus planned for Comox encourages independent activity, freedom to move

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Reflections of Ladysmith: The Art of Michael Dean

Work, place and people are inseparable for Vancouver Island painter

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Most Read