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Moose Rescue Considered

Published: 7/7/2009
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By Maddy B. Gray

Large animals are large animals.
You can’t scoop up a cow, horse, or moose like you can scoop up a small dog when it gets hit by a car. Of course, large animals might total the car and walk away, but that’s another story!

When it comes to rescuing them, much of the same special equipment, experience, and skills are used no matter what kind of large animal we consider.

That’s what I was thinking when I heard about the young bull moose stuck on a tiny island and surrounded by heavy rapids of the bloated Androscoggin River.

With all the rain, the poor fella must have gotten carried away, down the river and over the dam. (This dam has become a healthy waterfall with our record rains. Water flows over and drops about 25 feet to the rapids below.)

No one saw how he got there. But from what witnesses can piece together, he survived the fall and made it to the closest land mass, the acre-size island.
Given the rapids and topography, there’s just no other way he could have ended up there.

Wow!

So there he is, with a waterfall upstream and Class V rapids all around.
The state game warden was called in to assess the situation.
The warden told me that for now, they would let the moose chill. With waters that treacherous, no rescue would be safe.
So there he is, with a waterfall upstream and Class V rapids all around.
The state game warden was called in to assess the situation.
The warden told me that for now, they would let the moose chill. With waters that treacherous, no rescue would be safe.

And as they say in the Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue training (read more about TLAER by clicking here), if you can’t do it safely, you can’t do it!

Besides, he said, there was plenty of vegetation to keep Mr. Adolescent Moose fed for a week or so.

If and when the water recedes, the moose may try a water crossing on his own. He might even survive.
IF his health declines and IF residents start to put pressure on the warden service to do something, they would consider tranquilizing the moose and evacuating it on the south side in the slightly calmer waters and with the help of the Coast Guard.
Bringing in a helicopter, the warden added, was not viable with wires above the island running from Brunswick to Topsham.

Stay Tuned!

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7/7/2009 Michelle
Good point about SAFETY...this is certainly a "no go" situation for the moment. The moose feels content enough in his current situation to graze, so that is our sign to leave him alone for now! If the APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS decide on a rescue attempt, they will contact teams/individuals who are TRAINED to make it happen.
7/8/2009 Gail MacLean
The angle of the photo of this moose makes his body build look more like a horse than a moose!

   
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