When onlookers in St. John’s came across a moose swimming back and forth in Quidi Vidi Lake, they were uncertain if it was trapped or simply enjoying a long swim.
The moose had apparently entered the lake of its own volition, but after it had spent 45 minutes in the water, conservation officers began to be concerned that it was either stuck or too afraid to get out.
“He don’t want to come to shore,” an officer is heard to say in a video of the event.
Department of Wildlife are trying to get the moose to come a shore @VOCMNEWS #nltraffic pic.twitter.com/Xj9EZTI4H4
— Gerri Lynn Mackey (@GerriLynnMackey) February 7, 2018
At one point, the moose struggled to cross a low dam in the lake, and at another, it apparently made its way to shore, only to return to the lake because it “was scared of the amount of people on the trail,” a conservation officer told the St. John’s Telegram.
Concerned that the moose might tire out and drown, officers eventually got into boats to attempt to herd it back onto land, and eventually it did emerge, hiding behind some storage tanks. It was then tranquilized and carried out on a stretcher.
Moose in Quidi Vidi pic.twitter.com/jPgeiHkPDr
— Stephen Fagan (@s_bfagan) February 7, 2018
The moose and rescue mission drew quite a crowd. “It’s creating quite a stir, I must say. There’s a lot of people watching . . . ,” said Gerri Lynn Mackey in her video of the event.
Officers relocated the moose to a spot outside of the city and stayed with it until the tranquilizer wore off. Word has it that the moose is now in a region known as Paddy’s Pond — a fitting spot for an animal who clearly loves to swim.