ABC News’ Audree Steinberg reports:
A moose that got its antlers entangled in a backyard swing set had to be freed by a Utah cop using bolt cutters.
“He was obviously fatigued and very tired. He had some injuries to his antlers, he was breathing heavily, froth at the mouth… he was pretty exhausted,” said Sgt. Lane Findlay of the Weber County Sheriff’s Department. “My thought was if we don’t get this moose out of here as quickly as we can, he’s not going to make it.”
Findlay got the rescue mission Sunday when someone noticed the animal stuck in the backyard of a home that is located about 40 miles from Salt Lake City.
Findlay contacted wildlife officials, but once they said it was be at least an hour before they could arrive, the cop took matters into his own hands.
He jokingly handed his phone to the bystander and told him, “If anything happens to me, give this to my wife,” Findlay told ABC News.
The officer approached the moose cautiously to see if it would allow him to get close. The moose showed no signs of aggression.
He then clipped the metal chains one-by-one with bolt cutters until the moose could pull free.
Every time he cut a chain, the moose seemed to feel some tension release. At one point, the sergeant was patting the moose on the head.
He was never scared that the moose would attack him, but Findlay was nervous the moose would knock into him.
After the moose was freed, he ran to a nearby bucket containing water. He drank as much as he could and then collapsed in a driveway. Findlay, hoping to keep the exhausted moose cool and hydrated, sprayed him with a hose.
“He just laid there basically like a dog, lapping up the water,” Findlay said.
After approximately an hour, the moose stood up. Wildlife officials examined the moose for injuries. Although the physical injuries weren’t life-threatening, officials worried about the trauma the moose had endured, the sergeant said.
The long encounter with the swing apparently took its toll on the moose. Findlay said it was found dead on Wednesday.