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Homeowners Find Moose Trapped in Basement

Young moose fell through window well at Alaska home
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2022 12:59 PM CST
Firefighters Rescue Moose From Basement
Firefighters from Central Emergency Services with personnel from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Alaska Department of Fish and Game pose with a moose they helped rescue after it had had fallen through a window well at a home in Soldotna, Alaska, on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022.   (Capt. Josh Thompson/Central Emergency Services via AP)

Firefighters in Alaska say a young moose was returned to the wild happy and healthy after an unusual rescue over the weekend. The moose was carried out of a home in Soldotna, around 150 miles southwest of Anchorage, after it fell into the basement through a window well, Fox reports. Kenai Peninsula firefighter Gunnar Romatz tells the Anchorage Daily News that the moose ended up in a basement bedroom with the door shut. The residents found the moose after hearing noises from the basement. Romatz says the animal had been sedated but was not fully unconscious when they carried it out. Firefighters put the moose—estimated to be around a year old and 500 pounds—on a tarp normally used to carry larger human patients.

"All the while, this moose is just picking its head up, and you’re two inches away from this moose, you know?" Romatz. "So we’re like, ‘How are you?’ And it just kind of looked at us, 'Haven’t been in this situation before, you know.' Us either!" Romatz was one of seven firefighters who responded to the Sunday morning call for assistance, along with three biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and two Alaska wildlife troopers. After six men carried the moose outside, biologists treated minor cuts on its legs from the basement window and gave it medication to reverse the effect of the sedative.

Romatz says the moose was running without limping within 15 minutes. Emergency workers had an anxious moment when it ran back toward the side of the house with the broken basement window, but it soon disappeared into the forest, he says. Captain Josh Thompson with Kenai Peninsula Borough Central Emergency Services says window wells shouldn't be covered because they are important emergency exits, but homeowners will be less likely to find moose in their basements if they keep them free of leaves and other vegetation, Alaska Public Radio reports. (Read more moose stories.)

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