Moose rescued from beneath the ice in Willow

A dramatic rescue of Alaska wildlife took place near a creek in Willow on February 19
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 6:28 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A dramatic rescue of Alaska wildlife took place near a creek in Willow last week.

Andrew Koerner and his friend Terry White were heading home after a day of riding around on snowmachines on Feb. 19 when they spotted a moose stuck beneath the ice of a frozen creek.

The two men wasted no time and began to dig an 8-foot hole around the animal in an effort to free him. During this time, a few other men saw their rescue efforts and began to help. One of those men had a sledgehammer on hand to make breaking chunks of ice easier.

Koerner said that he could tell the moose was trapped for a few days, as he was missing fur on the back of his neck, a sign he tried to free himself but failed. Being in Alaska for the last 15 years, this is hardly his first moose encounter, but being that close to one is still a nerve wracking experience.

Despite knowing this trapped, scared moose could harm them, Koerner and friends kept digging and after an hour and a half, set him free.

“You could just tell by his eyes that he was just so ready to get out of that hole,” Koerner said. “That’s when me and Terry looked at each other and were like, we’re not going to leave until this little guy is out of this hole.”

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