A remote area around Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland doesn’t see many passersby on the best of days. But on a freezing late December day, the odds of a moose stuck in a snowbank finding a lifeline get even leaner.
In fact, when a group of Canadian snowmobilers came across the hapless animal, he was all but entombed in that icy grave.
Just ears poking out from the vast, snowy expanse.
But that fighting moose spirit was alive and well. And the will to help was strong in those who came across him.
"You could tell he was frantically trying to get out of the hole that he had himself in," one of the snowmobilers, Jonathan Anstey, told CBC News.
Getting close to a moose, even when it's seemingly snowbound, is always a dicey proposition. There are plenty of stories about these unruly ungulates taking a sudden, aggressive turn. Wildlife experts say moose encounters can pose as much danger as a meeting with a bear.
And even a moose that appears to be in trouble should normally be left to the expertise of park rangers and wildlife officials. The notoriously blustery behemoths are not to be trifled with by humans, or, as in one spectacular case, lawn mowers.
But rescuers didn’t see this moose having the time to wait for official assistance — so they got to digging.
About 15 minutes later — with a careful blend of shoveling and coaxing, Antsey noted in a Facebook post — the moose was soon on the loose.