This Easter Sunday was especially remarkable for the people of Fairbanks, Alaska. What began as an average morning soon transformed into an incredible act of heroism and kindness.

Moose Trouble

At around 6 am, Gary Niese was walking near the Chena River when he spotted an unusual sight. A moose had broken through the ice and was in danger of drowning.

“I looked out the window here and right over there you could see this moose fighting for his life,” Niese said. “He was clearly unable to get out of the hole and was fighting with all his effort.”

Calling For Help

Knowing he was unlikely to help on his own, Niese got on the phone to rally a team of local rescuers. Thanks to some helpful neighbors, two hours later the moose was saved!

“Naturally when I heard the call come out on the radio about a moose that needed to be free from the ice, that sounded a lot more exciting than what I was doing at the time,” Alaska State Trooper Trevor Norris said. “So me and the guys ran out there and used it as an opportunity to help out.”

Alaska stateline
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A Happy Moose

What made this story even more remarkable was the behavior of the rescued moose. After it had been brought to safety, the moose seemed hesitant to leave the scene, as if it wanted to thank its rescuers in person.

The troopers and neighbors could tell that the moose was appreciative of their efforts.

“Well now what are we going to do with you?” Niese asked about the animal.

The rescue was addressed in a Facebook post from Alaska State Troopers that says in part, although tired and cold, the moose was able to stand on its own and thankful for the assistance.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Troopers wished the moose a happy Easter and “warned her” of the dangers of thawing ice.

Active Moose Events

Alaska News Source reported that Sunday’s incident was the latest in a string of unusual moose occurrences this winter, including a moose rescue in Anchorage in January, a rescue in Wasilla in March, a house invasion by a moose in Soldotna last week, and a moose that wandered into an Anchorage hospital lobby last week.

Officials typically tell citizens not to handle injured wildlife due to the risks associated. However, Norris said that while they ask the public to call the police first, they appreciate the help they were provided Sunday.


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