Alaska firefighters help rescue a moose trapped in a home

The moose was trapped in a house after falling through a window well on Sunday in Soldotna, Alaska. (Capt. Josh Thompson/Central Emergency Services/AP)

By Mark Thiessen · The Associated Press 

Animal was apparently eating vegetation near basement window well and fell through the glass

Firefighters in Alaska got an unusual request for assistance last weekend from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, but it wasn’t your mundane cat-stuck-in-a-tree situation.

“They were looking for some help getting a moose out of a basement,” said Capt. Josh Thompson with Central Emergency Services on the Kenai Peninsula.

The moose, estimated to be a one-year-old bull, had a misstep while eating breakfast Sunday morning by a home in Soldotna, about 240 kilometres southwest of Anchorage.

“It looks like the moose had been trying to eat some vegetation by the window well of a basement window and fell into it, and then fell into the basement through the glass,” Thompson said.

That’s where it was stuck, one floor below ground.

The moose was tranquilized and removed from the house on a stretcher. (Capt. Josh Thompson/Central Emergency Services/AP)

A biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game was able to tranquilize the moose, but the animal wasn’t completely unconscious.

“He was still looking around and sitting there, he just wasn’t running around,” Thompson said.

Once sedated, the next problem was getting the moose — which weighed at least 500 pounds (225 kilograms) — out of the house.

The seemingly unfazed moose is carried out of the house. (Capt. Josh Thompson/Central Emergency Services/AP)

Improvising a bit, responders grabbed a big transport tarp that’s typically used as a stretcher for larger human patients. Once the moose was in position, it took six men to carry him through the house and back outside.

Photos of the morning rescue show the moose unfazed, simply looking ahead between the two men manoeuvring the front of the tarp down a hallway, watching where they are going.

Firefighters, Alaska Wildlife Troopers and personnel from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game pose with the moose before reviving it and setting it loose back into the wild. (Capt. Josh Thompson/Central Emergency Services/AP)

Thompson said the moose just hung out for a while after they got outside until a reversal agent for the tranquilizer kicked in. The biologist also treated minor lacerations on the back of the moose’s legs from falling through the window, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Once the sedative wore off, the moose apparently had his fill of human companionship and wanted to get back to the wild.

“He got up and took off,” Thompson said.

Related stories from around the North: 

Sweden:  Motorists warned to watch out for wildlife on Sweden’s roads, Radio Sweden

United States: Musk ox invasion keeps wildlife managers busy in Alaskan city, Alaska Dispatch News

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