Sudbury·Audio

Moose in muddy predicament rescued by men in Timmins, Ont.

With the help of a couple of prospectors from Timmins, Ont., a moose is now moving freely in the bush after the men helped the wild animal that was stuck in mud up to its head.

Wild animal stuck in mud up to its head was pulled free with straps and Argo ATV

The moose had become stuck in mud up to it head in the bush north of TImmins, Ont. Two men became its saviours. (Supplied by Bill Desloges)

With the help of a couple of men from Timmins a moose is now moving freely in the bush.

Last Wednesday, a friend had called prospectors Maurice Valliere and Pat Greba to come out to the bush, north of the northeastern Ontario city, where a male moose had become stuck in mud.

Before attempting the rescue, the men says they tried contacting the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, but no one responded.

"It was about three or four miles [about five to 6.4 km] from my home, so I thought it wouldn't be much of a job to go over there and try and get him out," Valliere said, adding that if he and his friend hadn't helped the moose, it would have perished.

"He was buried right up to his head ... he was fighting, and fighting, and fighting just to keep his head out of the mud."

Maurice Valliere and his friend placed a strap around the moose's antlers and then pulled it out of the mud using an Argo. (Supplied by Bill Desloges)

Valliere said if the moose had been female, they likely would not have been able to help because the two men had to attach straps around the animal's antlers to be able to pull it out successfully.

"I was hoping to try to go around his stomach and try and get him out, but he was in too deep," he said. "There's no way I could have jumped in there, so the only option I had was to go around his horns."

They used the strength from an Argo ATV to pull the heavy animal out of the mud using the straps.

When the moose was finally pulled out of the mud, Valliere said, it was lying on its side trying to catch its breath, but then suddenly got up quickly and ran off.

"He scared me so I ran away, and he was stuck with one of the straps hanging there [attached to one set of antlers]."

Once freed from the mud, the moose ran off back into the bush, still covered in mud, and with a strap hanging from one of its antlers. (Supplied by Bill Desloges)

Valliere said the area where the moose got stuck is Crown land. He believes the hole was once a ditch along an old concession road, which had become covered in mud.

The two men don't consider what they did heroic or anything special. 

"We didn't think it was that much of a big deal because everyone in Timmins would have probably went out and helped," Valliere said.

"We all love our animals here."

After the rescue, a friend of the two men, Bill Desloges, agreed to post the pictures on his Facebook page. The post has been shared more than 1,300 times.

"It wasn't a big deal, but I guess it turned out to be a little bigger deal than I thought it would be," Valliere said.

'Rescuing a moose...can be dangerous,' NDMNRF says

In an email to CBC News, the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) says neither the Timmins nor Cochrane district offices were contacted about this incident.

It adds that these types of wildlife events are rare and need to be assessed individually. The email adds that this type of act of nature is not unlike a moose falling through the ice

"Rescuing a moose stuck in mud can be dangerous to responders and often the outcome for the moose is unsuccessful, especially if it has been stuck for some time leading to capture myopathy - muscle damage resulting from extreme exertion, struggle, or stress," the email states.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela Gemmill

Journalist

Angela Gemmill is a CBC journalist who covers news in Sudbury and northern Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @AngelaGemmill. Send story ideas to angela.gemmill@cbc.ca

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