Two deputies came to the rescue of a bull moose this week, after the animal's antlers became tangled in a hammock. In this particular instance the hammock was in a back yard in Park City, Utah, but wildlife entanglement in camping and fishing gear is also a serious problem in the backcountry.
In a video shared by KSL News, which you can watch below, homeowner Francesca Paglione explains that a bull and cow moose had begun to visit her yard once or twice a week, but one day she realized that the bull had become snared in a hammock left strung between two trees.
“You could tell that he was agitated and that he kind of had some deep breathing going on,” she said.
Paglione and her husband called 911, but the Department of Natural Resources was over an hour away, so two deputies from the local sheriff's department attended instead. The deputies approached the moose slowly to avoid startling it, and carefully cut the hammock cords to gently free the animal.
"It was the biggest sigh of relief," Paglione said. "He ran off into the forest, found his girlfriend."
Sadly not all animals that become entangled are so lucky. Entanglement can cause wildlife to be strangled, or suffer wounds that can become infected. It also limits their movement, which can leave them vulnerable to predators and unable to feed.
Just a few days ago, a moose died after becoming tangled in wires for snow-generating equipment at Colorado ski area. As the Colorado Sun reports, the animal died from capture myopathy, which is stress from physical exertion caused by restraint.
Earlier this year, a young elk was rescued in Colorado after becoming tangled in a tarp and trapped in a ditch. In a tweet, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region explained that the tarp was so tightly wrapped, it had to be cut away using a knife attached to a pole.
Monday on the west side of Loveland, wildlife officers rescued this young bull elk that was entangled in a tarp and stuck in a ditch.The tarp was so twisted that wildlife officers ended up cutting it with a knife on a pole near his face to relieve his nose & mouth. pic.twitter.com/y5BcCxiBbPApril 5, 2022
The animal's head was partially submerged in water, but eventually wildlife officers were able to set it free.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).