A female moose in New Brunswick is lucky to be alive after she fell through the slats of a wooden bridge last week.
New Brunswick resident Philip Doucet encountered the moose while out to check his rabbit snares. Naturally, he says he was shocked to find the animal stuck in the small bridge that passes over Currie Creek, near Bathurst, New Brunswick. The bridge is generally used by all-terrain vehicles in the summer and was covered by a layer of snow.
The moose’s narrow legs got caught between the open slats, which left her seriously stuck, with no option but to wait for someone to find her.
No one is sure how long the moose waited for help, but according to CBC News, there were icicles forming under her legs, and Doucet said she seemed to have lost hope. After seeing the photos that were taken that day, it’s easy to see why.
Doucet immediately called forest rangers, as well as his uncle and two friends, to help him rescue the helpless animal.
The forest ranger showed up with a chainsaw, which played a huge part in the rescue. Considering the size of a female moose, cutting the bridge apart was the only way they could save her. An average cow moose in Eastern and Atlantic Canada weighs 270 kg, which is nearly 600 pounds.
When the moose was released from the bridge, she fell to her side—luckily none of her legs were broken. They were, however, quite frozen, and so it took some time for her to get back on her feet and start walking again.
Accidents happen, of course, but there’s an important takeaway here for those building bridges along recreational trails, whether they’re being used for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or ATVing.
When placing boards, it’s important to ensure the space between them is no more than 2.5 centimetres wide, say ATV federation officials. Although the boards need to be spaced far enough apart for snow and water to get through, they need to be kept relatively close so deer and moose hooves don’t get caught. This story is the perfect example of what can happen if they do, and though it ended well, things could have gone very differently if Doucet hadn’t shown up.