Firefighters Rescue 500 lb Baby Moose After It Falls Through Window and Into a Basement
“Luckily it wasn’t a full-grown moose.”
A group of firefighters in Alaska were faced with an unusual task while on duty—the rescue of a 500 lb baby moose. The moose had managed to get trapped in the basement of a house, and it took a team of firefighters and biologists to sedate and remove the animal. "Like any curious human being, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I really want to be there for this because there's no way anybody's gonna believe this,'" says Kenai Peninsula firefighter Gunnar Romatz. "I can't even believe it." Here's how they got the little moose free and returned it to the wild.
The moose had been feeding on vegetation behind a house when it fell through an open window into the basement, which locked behind it, trapping the animal. "Well, the moose fell into that. Its back legs went through it, and then it just continued sliding into their basement," says Romatz.
The house is located in the Soldotna area, approximately 150 miles from Anchorage. Two neighbors heard the noise and called authorities to deal with the trapped moose. Experts say these incidents become more frequent as the weather gets colder and animals look for food. "It's not as rare as you think that the moose makes it inside of a home," says Joseph Morris with Alaska Wildlife Troopers.
Seven firefighters with Central Emergency Services, three biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and two Alaska wildlife troopers responded to a call at around 10.30 a.m. Sunday. They sedated the animal and rolled it onto a tarp called a "people mover," and the animal scooted into the middle. "Luckily, he was conscious enough to honestly help us out a little bit," Romatz said. "Luckily, it wasn't a full-grown moose."
The team of rescuers carried the moose out of the garage and up the stairs through the house, nervously checking in on their cargo. "All the while, this moose is just picking its head up, and you're two inches away from this moose, you know?" Romatz says. "So we're like, 'How are you?' And it just kind of looked at us, 'Haven't been in this situation before, you know.' Us either!"
The moose was safely delivered outside the house, and biologists got to work treating some minor lacerations and administering medication to counteract the sedative. "Very successful rescue, no injuries," Morris says. "Very limited downtime for the moose, which apparently is a concern sometimes." The team left the immediate area so the moose could recover in peace, and had a brief moment of dismay when the animal headed back towards the same window it fell through in the first place. "They were like, 'Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no!' But it just ran off back into the tree line," Romatz said. "We got a video of it, and it was happy, healthy — and a job well done, apparently."