When you are snowmobiling and having a blast, you need to be aware of your surroundings. You have to be able to react quickly as well. You might run into bushes or a tree that came up quick, or you might need to stop because there’s a hole or a bridge, or like these snowmobilers, you might come across something stuck in the ice or snow.
Last week, a couple of Anchorage snowmobilers safeguarded a colossal animal caught underneath the ice of a frozen creek.
When it is cold enough to snowmobile, you can bet that the temperature is very low, the air might be dry yet fridge, and any water around will be freezing. Given that the creek was frozen, it would have been super cold and uncomfortable for anyone or any animal that doesn’t usually live in the water.
To an Alaskan, this huge giant is not cuddly compared to its family, the deer; instead, it’s an extremely dangerous and unpleasant creature. Despite growing up to over 6ft. and weighing up to 1,500 and even more at times, they can also make a quick dash reaching speeds of 35mph. They are also really good at swimming and can travel swimming several miles and stay underwater for about 30 seconds.
Alaskans and people in Canada have at least seen a moose at some point if they haven’t had a run-in with one, and while, for the most part, they are gentle and peaceful, you wouldn’t want to end up on its bad side and have one charge at you given their size. They can become aggressive when stressed or feel threatened, and for males, when it’s the height of the mating season.
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That’s why Andrew Koerner and his good friend Terry White had to be extra careful when approaching the animal when they found the moose stuck neck-deep in the frozen creek. There’s no telling how long the moose was there before they arrived, but they knew they had to act quick – and stay safe themselves.
The pair urgently began digging an eight-foot-wide opening around the moose to help it get free, but at the same time, they were trying not to stress the animal out.
“You could just tell by his eyes that he was just so ready to get out of that hole,” Koerner said. “That’s when me and Terry looked at each other and were like, we’re not going to leave until this little guy is out of this hole.”
While they didn’t know precisely how long the moose had been trapped there, they could see that it was for quite some time as it had rubbed off a lot of fur from its back and neck and looked thin.
It required 90 minutes, during which a few bystanders stopped to help with the digging, and one even ended up having a demolition hammer to pulverize the tougher pieces of ice. Finally, at long last, they were able to clear a good amount of room around the moose, and it had sufficient space to get away. They gave it plenty of room to unwind and move when it didn’t feel stressed out anymore.
“It felt amazing, it felt great,” said Kroener, who had seen plenty of moose before, just not in such an intimate way. This is why you must be aware of your surroundings when riding fast on a snowmobile. While they saved a moose today, it could have easily been a child or lost person in a different scenario. Good job to the pair and eventual team that helped break this creature out.