Three friends gathered on Friday, April 2, to rescue a moose that found itself stranded for days on the ice-covered Stuart Lake west of Prince George in a daring mission.
“The first day, I wasn’t worried about it,” Binche resident Ross Duncan said.
He and others, including Paul Lewis and Doug Connors, kept watch on the cow moose they believed had been chased on the ice by wolves with a spotting scope.
Conservation Officers told Duncan and the others to let nature take its course, and that the animal would likely move along on it own by the fourth day. However, Duncan said they grew concerned as predators could return, and the moose hadn’t eaten in all its time on the slick surface.
Determined to help the moose, several Binche residents strapped on skates to try and chase it off the ice.
Although the hungry animal had only moved farther offshore to open water, Duncan, Lewis and Connors would return and get the moose to move closer eventually with apples.
Using a rope, the men guided the moose back to the shoreline to safety with Connors on an ATV.
Duncan had lassoed the moose with two ropes on its butt end as it was lying down.
“My grandfather taught me not to be scared of animals,” he said, noting he and his ex-wife had saved a bear after it was struck by a vehicle. They dragged the bear off the road, after which it had regained consciousness and ran off.
Dave Birdi of the Binche Keyoh Bu Society said the heartwarming rescue shows the spirit of the community. “You could hear the excitement when the moose went to shore,” Birdi said.
“Everyone has their heart for the animal, and the outcome was very touching.”
A week after the rescue, Duncan said he has received phone calls from reporters across the country, including as far away as Toronto, Ont.
While some joke he is now a celebrity, Duncan argues otherwise and said he was only doing what was right and saving an animal.
“It’s [moose] lucky it’s not in my smokehouse,” he said with a laugh, adding on a more serious note that he would never kill a cow moose.
“I’m feeling good about it.”