Winter brings many dangers for animals, even the mighty moose. In this video, a moose has made a fatal mistake by wandering onto thin ice and plunging through the surface of a lake near Yugorsk, Russia.
Enter Victor Zavalypich, a 51-year-old helicopter pilot who was flying overhead and noticed an odd dark area below on Lake Arantur. Landing to investigate, he discovered the female moose, who was so exhausted that she was barely able to move her head.
He estimates that the moose had probably endured the freezing water for approximately two hours, and despite a thick covering of fur and 600 pounds of muscle and fat, she was very close to death.
Zavalypich returned with helpers and managed to pull the moose free of its icy fate, a process that took an additional hour-and-a-half. They did their best to warm the comatose moose by stretching its legs and slapping its body. Finally, the moose, nicknamed Manka, struggled to her feet and disappeared into the forest.
Moose are generally wary of humans, but it’s a safe bet Manka is glad that a few kind-hearted individuals took the time to give her a leg up during a tough time.