There are few babies in the animal kingdom cuter than a moose calf. Something tells us, however, that even if this had been a baby (insert hideous animal here) that these two first class gentlemen would’ve rushed to the rescue anyway.
So they did for this little lady, a female moose calf who is lucky to see another day. Her rescue came courtesy of off-duty Calgary firefighter Scott Linton and his friend, Benny Clark, as they paddled down Alberta’s Sheep River.
Clark kayaks for a living, so between the two, considerable white water experience is present. Thankfully for the calf, the gents were able to spot her amidst raging waters.
“Benny says, ‘Moose,’ and I didn’t see it (at first)… and we startled her, and she got up and fell into the river,” Linton tells Global News Canada of the encounter.
Without hesitation, the pair shot out of their kayaks and into action. Linton fastened a rope to his waist, handing it to Clark who remained on the rocky shore. Clark’s footage shows Linton fighting the rapids to come to the little moose‘s rescue in remarkable time.
“We jumped out of our boats, I gave him the rope and he went for it,” Clark recalls of the defining moment.
The struggling calf can clearly be heard bleating and crying out as her rescuers approach. “Got it, got her!” Linton calls out – and before long, they’re able to pull her to safety and check her for injuries.
Harrowing Moose Calf Rescue Shows the Best of Humanity
“I wasn’t worried about the river. I was basically (thinking) just like how heavy is this moose… If you branded a two-month-old calf and lifted it up, that was basically the weight of it,” Linton describes for Global News.
“She was tired and cold. We could see she was shaking,” he adds. Both men refrained from swaddling the moose, however, as they knew it would mark her with unfamiliar scents – making it impossible for her mother to track her and reunite. Top marks, gentlemen!
“You just go in the mode, serious, get it done,” Linton continues. “Kind of just acted like a human being going by… I think it was partly our fault, so getting her out of the river, it was we should have done.”
As for Clark, he wasn’t worried about the river, he says. Instead, his mind was on the calf’s mother.
“I could handle Mindy,” he says, citing the name they gave the adorable moose. “It was more like where’s mama at? Because they can be aggressive.”
That they can. And no matter the intentions, no human – big or small – wants to be on the wrong end of a 6-foot, 800-pound mother moose. This incredible species holds incredible power – and hell hath no fury like a mother scorned.
The kayakers remain hopeful for a reunion between mother and daughter for Mindy, too. The calf was around two to four weeks old, they estimate, so she stands little to no chance of survival without mum.
“I think I heard the mother calling back when she was calling a little bit… so hopefully she found mom,” Clark recalls.
“It was really cuddly. It was nice,” Linton adds of their rescue. “I would have taken her home… Was a nice little moose. Mindy the moose.”
Yet as all Outsiders know, the men know her home lies nowhere else but the great outdoors. Watch the incredible rescue for yourself below, courtesy of the gent’s remarkable hi-res footage below:
Two kayakers jumped to the aid of a distressed moose calf after noticing it had become stranded above a dangerous stretch of rapids on the Sheep River in Southwestern Alberta, Canada.Paddling Magazine