A young moose needed a lift, literally, after getting stuck in a canyon near the Buffalo Bill Dam. Officials with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department kept a close eye on the bull for a few weeks.
They shared on Facebook they were hoping the animal could maneuver his way out of the canyon on his own, because he would eventually run out of food. But after the bull failed to find a way out, a wildlife biologist decided they needed to give him a boost. The department shared video and images of the rescue to social media. It has since gone viral, with more than 31,000 views.
Rescuers tranquilized the moose and cut off his antlers. He weighed approximately 900 pounds; they lifted him out of the canyon using a crane supplied by the nearby Buffalo Bill Powerplant. A horse trailer was waiting at the top of the canyon to move the moose. They released him near Meeteetse, Wyoming. The moose was not hurt.
Gaming officials explained in the video comments that cutting off the bull’s antlers was a necessary precaution. They explained, “We removed the antlers for the safety of the animal during transport and as a human safety precaution because the moose was chemically immobilized with a drug called BAM, which has a withdrawal period of 90 days. Withdrawal period is the length of time you have to wait to safely consume the meat from an animal that has received certain drugs. Removing the antlers makes this moose less likely to be harvested this year, during the withdrawal time. Next year, the moose will grow his antlers like normal.”
According to National Geographic, an adult male moose can weigh up to 1,800 pounds and reach heights above 6 feet. They are the largest member of the deer family. Despite their massive size, moose can move very fast. Scientists say they can run as fast as 35 miles per hour. They typically live for 15 to 20 years in the wild. Male moose are called bulls.