Alaska firefighters rescue 500-pound baby moose trapped in basement

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What started out as a mundane weekend shift for a crew of firefighters in Alaska ended up as anything but that when they got a call to rescue a baby moose from a basement.

The moose, estimated to be a 1-year-old bull tipping the scales at 500 pounds, had a misstep while eating breakfast Sunday morning by a home in Soldotna, about 150 miles southwest of Anchorage.

“It looks like the moose had been trying to nibble on some vegetation by the window well of a basement window and fell into it, and then fell into the basement through the glass,” said Capt. Josh Thompson, with Central Emergency Services on the Kenai Peninsula..

The youngster elk found itself trapped one floor below ground level.

A biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game was able to tranquilize the moose, but the animal wasn’t completely unconscious.

Firefighters from Central Emergency Services with personnel from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Alaska Department of Fish and Game pose with a baby moose they helped rescue after it had fallen through a window well at a home in Soldotna, Alaska, Sunday.
Firefighters from Central Emergency Services with personnel from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Alaska Department of Fish and Game pose with a baby moose they helped rescue after it had fallen through a window well at a home in Soldotna, Alaska, Sunday.
AP
The home where the moose fell through
The 1-year-old bull was eating some vegetation next to a home when it took a misstep and through through a basement window.
AP
The young elk is pictured trapped in the basement before its rescue Sunday.
The young elk is pictured trapped in the basement before its rescue Sunday.
AP

“He was still looking around and sitting there, he just wasn’t running around,” Thompson said.

Once sedated, the next challenge was hauling the moose out of the house.

Improvising a bit, responders grabbed a big transport tarp that’s typically used as a stretcher for larger human patients and loaded the animal onto it. It took six burly firefighters to carry the moose through the house, up a flight of stairs and back outside.

The young elk is pictured trapped in the basement before its rescue Sunday.
The 500-pound moose was tranquilized and removed from the house on a special stretcher typically used for larger human patients.
AP
Six firefighters carry the animal through the house and back outside.
It took six firefighters to carry the animal through the house and back outside.
AP

“Luckily, it wasn’t a full-grown moose,” firefighter Gunnar Romatz told Anchorage Daily News.

Photos of the morning rescue show the moose unfazed, looking ahead between the two men maneuvering the front of the tarp down a hallway, watching where they are going.

Thompson said the moose just hung out for a while after they got outside until a reversal agent for the tranquilizer kicked in. The biologist also treated minor cuts on the back of the moose’s legs from falling through the window, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The young moose
The young moose was treated for cuts to its legs and then given a tranquillizer reversal drug.
AP
The moose outside
The moose got up and returned to the wild after the rescue.
AP

Once the sedative wore off, the seemingly healthy moose got up and initially ran back towards the shattered basement window, which made his rescuers very nervous.

“They were like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no!’ But it just ran off back into the tree line,” Romatz said.

With Post wires

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