moose rescue

Buckrail- This past weekend, one bull moose got himself in a bit of a tangle, but thanks to the quick response by wildlife officials, was able to make it out OK.

On Sunday morning, Teton County resident Kathleen Neiley looked out her window around 7 a.m. and saw a couple of moose.  The larger moose had a hammock, along with the metal stand severely entangled in his antlers. She saw that the moose was very upset and working to free himself, so she called the Teton County Sheriff’s Office for assistance.

“The moose was really stressed, with elevated respirations and exhausted, so we were already really concerned that he was going to be hard to save,” said Neiley.

Neiley observed the moose get up again and try to cross the buckrail fence into the next property, but the trailing hammock got entangled on the fence.  She said he wound it around and around, jumping back and forth, but just became more tangled. The hammock wound on him tighter and tighter, pulling the entire fence section down and then back up, which was just further exhausting him.

Three Sheriff’s Deputies and two Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife officials arrived on scene and made the decision to tranquilize the moose.

“All five men moved quickly and efficiently and deployed their plan — one covered his eyes, two on the body, and two worked to free the pressure on the moose by cutting the antlers off so he could be released quickly from the fence and get his head down and  breathe,” she said.

After the hammock was untangled, wildlife officials administered a drug to wake the moose up. After about 20 minutes, the moose recovered and went to meet his buddy in the forest.

“GREAT example of interagency cooperation, obvious expertise and genuine concern for the welfare of the animals, minimizing the risk to themselves and the animal,” said Neiley about the team that saved the moose. “Impressive to watch!”

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently issued a warning to people about removing items like hammocks, ropes, string lights and other items that moose can get tangled in.

“We typically get a number of moose calls this time of year because it’s the breeding season, the bulls are starting to travel a lot in pursuit of cows and they tend to start rubbing their antlers on whatever they can find,” said Aly Courtemanch, Jackson Wildlife Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “Consequently, we get reports of bull moose with a variety of things wrapped around their antlers, including fencing, rope swings, wind chimes, Christmas lights, lawn furniture, hammocks and so on.”

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