Just in case you missed it…
A Utah sheriff managed to free a bull moose tangled in a backyard swing set in Ogden, Utah this August, and a bystander caught the rescue on video.
Sgt. Lane Findlay gave his cell phone to an onlooker and asked him to record the rescue attempt, reports ABC News. Just as the footage begins to roll, you can hear him say, “In case I die, give this to my wife.”
Although Findlay initially contacted wildlife officials, he learned they might take an hour to arrive on the scene.
“I just made the decision to go in there and see what I could do,” Findlay told the Associated Press. “Fortunately, the moose was tired and it didn’t seem threatened.”
Armed with nothing but a pair of bolt cutters, Findlay cautiously approaches the distressed moose. The bull is breathing hard and twists away from Findlay, its rack still snared in the two swings. On the second attempt, the moose calms down enough and Findlay successfully slices the first chain. The exhausted bull eventually stands still and allows Findlay to cut through the remaining chains. At one point Findlay even strokes the moose’s nose and speaks to it softly.
When the last chain snaps, the bull trots off into the yard. The video ends there, but Findlay said the moose drank from a bucket of water and collapsed in a driveway. Findlay hosed down the moose for nearly an hour until wildlife officials arrived. Although they determined its physical injuries weren’t fatal, the battle with the swings was apparently too stressful. According to Findlay, someone found the moose dead later that week.
Despite the unhappy ending, Findlay successfully freed the bull when he could have waited for wildlife professionals. You never want to see a wild animal suffer, but you also want to avoid a thrashing. What would you have done?