Moose trapped in thick mud pulled to safety by father-son duo
HALIFAX -- A father and son from New Brunswick pulled a young moose to safety last week after the animal became stuck in some deep mud.
Shawn Matheson told CTV News he came across the trapped animal while our fishing with his girlfriend near St. Stephen, N.B., Wednesday evening.
"I heard it, and she got scared," Shawn Matheson said. "I'm assuming just from the heat that we've had that she was going for water and ended up getting stuck in the mud."
He tried to dig the mud-covered animal out, but all he had was a paddle, and his attempts were unsuccessful.
Matheson returned to the area with his father the next day.
Together, Shawn and Richard Matheson used shovels, straps and an electric winch to pull the moose -- which he believes weighed between 500 and 600 pounds -- out of the thick mud.
They think the moose may have been in the mud for three or four days, with no access to the river water, so the animal was likely very dehydrated -- and very weak.
"I had a cooler there with a plastic container and so I took that out and we filled that full of river water there, and realized she started drinking it, and the more she drank, the more she seemed to come to," said Richard Matheson. "I figured we probably gave her 12 maybe 14 gallons of water."
Because of the sweltering heat that day, they also kept her covered with cool mud and gave her lily pads to eat to get her energy up.
Once they saw her getting her strength back, they decided it was time to give her space and left.
"We were out of the woods by 8 o'clock," said Shawn Matheson. "Friday we went back to check the area to see if she was in the area and she was gone."
"We spent the day out there. It was an adventure, an experience for me and my young fella," said Richard Matheson. "I told him this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience."