Moose Rescued After Getting Trapped in Alaska Home’s Basement

by Taylor Cunningham
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Jim Cumming/Getty

Firefighters in Alaska successfully rescued a moose that unwittingly crashed through a window and wound up stuck in the basement of a home.

Gunnar Romatz with the Kenai Peninsula Fire Department led the mission after residents found the animal standing in one of their lower-level rooms in the town of Soldotna.

“Like any curious human being, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I really want to be there for this because there’s no way anybody’s gonna believe this,’” Romatz said after the rescue. “I can’t even believe it.”

Romatz didn’t pull off the feat alone, however. He worked alongside six other firefighters with Central Emergency Services, three biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and two Alaska wildlife troopers.

The team responded after the homeowners heard a strange noise outside and walked outside to see the broken basement window and the moose looking back. The window has an opening about 3 feet wide.

“Well, the moose fell into that. Its back legs went through it, and then it just continued sliding into their basement.”

It’s Not Uncommon For Moose to Get Trapped Inside Alaskan Homes

Interestingly, that was the second time a moose fell through the exact spot. During the first incident, the animal caught itself before it was entirely inside. According to Alaska Wildlife Trooper Joseph Morris, Moose get stuck inside homes somewhat often in The Last Frontier. It starts happening when the weather gets colder and they come into residential areas looking for food.

“It’s not as rare as you think that the moose makes it inside of a home,” he said.

To free the large animal, biologists sedated it so the team could carry it to a people mover. The moose was awake for the process and Romatz shared that it actually helped them out a little by maneuvering itself on the mover.

Once it was safely on the tarp-like device, the team carried the animal up a set of stairs, into a garage, and finally back outside. Romatz said the process was much easier than he anticipated.

“All the while, this moose is just picking its head up, and you’re two inches away from this moose, you know?” he shared. “So we’re like, ‘How are you?’ And it just kind of looked at us, ‘Haven’t been in this situation before, you know.’ Us either!”

Once they were clear of the house, Romatz, the police officers, and the other firefighters left the biologists to tend to the animal’s minor lacerations. Once they cleared it, they gave a medication that revered the sedative.

The moose ended up walking away within 10 to 15 minutes and headed back into the woods.

“Very successful rescue, no injuries,” Morris added. “Very limited downtime for the moose, which apparently is a concern sometimes.”

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