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 had tried contacting the Ministry of 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.”
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].”
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 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.