70-Year-Old Men Rᴇsᴄᴜᴇ Moose After Being Tʀᴀᴘᴘᴇᴅ In A Deep Mud Pit
A majestic member of Canada’s animal kingdom is alive, well and likely quite dirty today thanks to the brave actions of two retired prospectors who ʀɪsᴋᴇᴅ their own lives to sᴀᴠᴇ a ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssᴇᴅ moose.
Maurice Valliere and Pat Greba, both 70, made like superheroes and sprang to action last Wednesday upon learning that a full-grown male moose had been spotted deep in a mud pit, unable to move, in the wilds of Timmins, Ontario. His buddy, attempted to get the moose out himself by giving the moose some branches for it to climb, but it was already sᴛᴜᴄᴋ too deep. So Vallier and his friend Pat Greba contacted the local authorities, but couldn’t reach anybody, so decided to take matters into their own hands. At this point, without their help, the moose would’ve surely faced ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ, so they set out to see what they can do. Knowing that the moose was facing a literal life-or-ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ situation, the seasoned propsectors got map coordinates from their friend and set out to see what they could do. The first hurdle was clearing a path so they could get their ATV to the spot the moose was at, which was two km off the highway, this took over an hour in itself.
The moose was clearly ᴀꜰʀᴀɪᴅ of the humans, so Vallier spoke to him in a low voice until he calmed down a bit. Then, with no other options, the men tied a sling around his antlers. “He started to ꜰɪɢʜᴛ back, tried to reach me with his legs, but couldn’t reach high enough,” says Vallier. “I felt so sorry for him. His mouth was full of mud and his eyes were full of mud.” After a first failed attempt at pulling out the moose with an Argo ATV, the men decided to traipse through the bush again to reach another side of the mud hole some 30 feet away. The bank there was lower and covered in moss — better suited for a moose to slide through. “The second time around, he must have realized we were there to help him, or he was just exhausted, but he calmed right down,” says Vallier, crediting his Labrador Retriever for providing the moose with some support. “The dog just went up to the moose and laid there and put his head down, and the moose looked at the dog and was like ‘oh, okay.'”
Eventually, after securing slings around the moose again, Greba and Vallier maxed out the winch. Another attempt in reverse finally pulled the muddy moose up and out of the hole, which Vallier believes was an old concession road that had grown in and was about seven feet deep. Apparently, the moose was ᴛʀᴇᴍʙʟɪɴɢ when it first came out of the mud, presumable being ᴇxʜᴀᴜsᴛᴇᴅ from sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟɪɴɢ to get out. “I felt good that we got him out, ’cause I felt so sorry for him. He was sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟɪɴɢ and sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟɪɴɢ and just couldn’t do it.” It isn’t clear how long the moose was sᴛᴜᴄᴋ for, but it is very likely that he would not have sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇᴅ if it wasn’t for the valiant efforts from both Pat Greba and Maurice Valliere!