Moose stuck in lake pulled out by Wasilla residents

A group of friends rescues a moose after she fell through the ice of a lake near Wasilla.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 9:08 AM AKDT
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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - Late Monday night, Donna Lorenzen heard her dogs barking on her property just a few miles outside of Wasilla.

Because it was too dark to see, she didn’t investigate the disturbance any further until the next day.

What she saw took her by surprise. Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, she texted her son Joe Lorenzen letting him know that a moose had broken through the ice on the lake outside her house and that it was trapped.

Immediately, Joe sprang into action, rallying his friends in his pickup truck with a couple of tow straps and got there as soon as possible.

“I was there in the shop working — welding up stuff — and I got a phone call from Joe saying ‘Hey, dude, there’s moose that needs help,’” Kyler Mortensen said.

Arriving on scene, the team was eager to get to work on freeing the moose; so eager that one of them, Joe’s friend Tim, fell through the ice while trying to reach the animal.

“He actually fell in the water because he was just running so fast and was just gung ho,” Lorenzen said.

Once the team of friends was prepared, they managed to tie a tow strap around the moose and drag it out of the water.

“She was just so exhausted, and just cold, that it almost appeared that she should have already passed,” Lorenzen said.

It was then they started warming the moose with their hands and providing hay for nourishment.

A group of friends rescues a moose after she fell through the ice of a lake near Wasilla.
A group of friends rescues a moose after she fell through the ice of a lake near Wasilla.(Courtesy Kyler Mortensen)

Still too weak to stand from her overnight struggle, the moose lay there for a period of time as the crew provided comfort.

“She was just kind of like looking up at me and that’s when I just kept nurturing her and I gave her a big kiss, and I said, ‘Okay, mama, you got this,’” Lorenzen said.

After taking stock of the situation and deciding they did all they could for the moose, the group piled back up in the truck and went about their day.

“We hopped in the truck and like, everyone was saying it felt like high school again, you know, everybody getting off on lunch break and just tearing out of there and having a good time,” Mortensen said.

After the rescue, Joe Lorenzen returned to check on the moose. He said he found her trying to get into a bedding position.

He helped her back onto her right position and said about an hour later, she was seen eating from the trees at the edge of the lake.

It was the second time this winter that a bystander pulled a moose out of a lake in the Southcentral Alaska region, following a lake rescue in Anchorage in January.

The Department of Fish and Game has advised the public in the past to avoid encounters with wildlife, even if it means abandoning a helpless animal.