Moose Wrecks Basement Before Colorado Parks and Wildlife Rescue: Photo

by TK Sanders

Colorado Parks and Wildlife rescued a moose that wandered into a residential basement yesterday in Breckenridge. Or, you could say, they rescued the residents from a very large, furry visitor who didn’t look happy to be there. Either way, the moose is now loose again.

According to the wildlife bureau’s tweet, the animal fell through a snow-covered window well. Shocked and scared, the moose proceeded to bluster its way around the basement furniture for a bit before wildlife officials intervened.

Officers apparently tried to encourage the massive mammal out the front door, but the moose didn’t want to budge. The staircase leading from the basement to the ground floor doors proved too narrow to navigate for the animal. So officials had to get creative.

How Officials Rescued the Animal

Alas, it was time for the moose to take a winter’s nap. Wildlife rescuers tranquilized the moose to pacify it, and then cut off its antlers so it would fit through the staircase. Bald and sleepy, the moose was carried up the stairs and released back into the wild upon waking — happy to be alive and out of the basement.

And as for its antlers? Outsiders probably already know that moose antlers shed and regrow seasonally. So the moose’s antler trim was neither harmful nor out of the ordinary for the majestic beast. Police and fire departments were called in, as well, for manpower to help transport the enormous moose.

“It was a great team effort, and other than a small cut on its leg, the moose appeared to be healthy,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Jake Kay.  
“It’s important that window wells allow people in a home to escape in the event of an emergency, but at times they can be hazards to wildlife,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington. “Removing vegetation that may attract wildlife around the vicinity of window wells and covering below ground window wells with approved grates that allow people to escape will reduce the likelihood of wildlife becoming trapped, or in this case, having an unwelcome visitor in the home.”

Here are some moose facts

Colorado’s Shiras moose are the state’s largest big game animal with adults weighing 800 to 1,200 pounds. Bulls stand up to 6 feet at the shoulder.

The breeding season, or rut, begins in mid-September and runs through October.

Cows give birth in May and June. Twins are common in good habitats, and Outsiders sometimes see triplets, too.

The term “moose” comes from the Algonquin Indian word meaning “eater of twigs.” The most common place to find them is around or near lots of brush for them to snack on.

Bulls grow flattened, palmated antlers with points around the edge. They can grow up to 5 feet wide in larger and older bulls. The antlers shed in early winter and re-grow each year, as noted above. It’s not uncommon to see a bull, especially a younger bull, with antlers similar to those of an elk.