When B.C. logging truck driver Wayne Rowley was heading to work last week, he was distracted my something sticking out of the snowbank on the side of the road.
“I came around the corner and it just caught my eye, ‘What is that sticking out of the snowbank?’ Curious me, I had to back up and have a look,” Rowley told the Trail Times. “It was a little moose upside down, stuck. I could just see his feet sticking up in the air.”
He got out of his truck to investigate further. Nearly buried in two-feet of snow, Rowley thought the calf might be dead.
“I couldn’t just leave him. I went a little closer and he looked up at me. ‘Oh, you’re still alive!’”
So started Rowley’s rescue mission. Wedged in the large pile of snow, the young moose had gotten stuck upside down, unable to roll over and get to safety. Rowley started to dig a hole beside the animal, hoping this would give it the room to flip over and free itself.
When the calf wasn’t able to roll over on it’s own, Rowley tied a rope around the animal and tried to tug it out.
“I ended up calling the guy in the truck ahead of me back to help me pull him out. We got him up on his feet and he walked out of there. Down the road he went.”
Throughout the process, Rowley didn’t see any signs of the mother’s presence. Typically, male calves will be chased away by their mothers in the breeding season (late-September to October). Females calves aren’t chased away, but will eventually wander from the cow after several years. Regardless of the young moose’s sex, this juvenile moose was not ready to part with their mother.
But Rowley is hopeful they were able to find each other again. He hasn’t seen the topsy-turvy moose on the road since the daring rescue, leading him to believe they reunited.
“They must have hooked up. She would have tracked him down.”
And for the animal’s survival, in which winter is a vulnerable time for young moose, we hope mother and child are together again!