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.
“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.
“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.
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