During a fishing expedition on the Big Hole River in Montana, Karen Sciascia, a gynecologist from Pennsylvania, and Twin Bridges river guide Seth McLean found a cow moose and her calf trying to cross the quick-flowing river.
The mother moose attempted to cross first, and after struggling through the river’s swift current, she made it to the other bank. But when her calf attempted to follow her, it was swept away and disappeared beneath the water’s surface.
“It was small and the river was swift,” Sciascia later told The Montana Standard. “We lost sight of the baby. It was hurtling downstream and was being pushed by the river. It was too small to ever fight the current.”
Sciascia and McLean soon found the calf with its nose barely above the water, and they got close enough for Sciascia to reach under the its front legs and pull it out of the river.
The calf was limp but breathing, and McLean steered the boat towards the opposite bank where its mother had disappeared into the bush. Thankfully, the mother emerged from the woods at the sound of her bleating baby.
Karen Sciascia holds the moose calf she rescued from drowning (photo courtesy of the Four Rivers Fishing Company).
The Four Rivers Fishing Company shared news of the reunion on their Facebook page:
The poor exhausted little girl lay motionless in Karen’s arms calm from exhaustion. Quickly after pulling to shore, they released the baby and Mama was soon there checking her calf over. Once reunited and satisfied, Mama led her calf into the woods disappearing with a happy ending!
Concerned that readers would misinterpret the moose encounter as humans interfering with nature, Four Rivers offered some followup advice:
Do not touch mother nature’s babies! Mama will usually give up the baby a human touched immediately … In this moose situation, this baby was going to absolutely die, so why not grab it out of the water and at least provide the 50/50 chance of survival? And, hey, Mama accepted the baby right back in this instance, a small miracle in nature.
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