Three men enjoying a late-December snowmobile trip in the Alaska wilderness spotted a young moose buried under heavy snow, with only its snout exposed to the air. The four-legged animal fell victim to a recent avalanche on Hatcher Pass, a mountainous area about 60 miles northeast of Anchorage.
According to Alaska Dispatch News, the men saw the avalanche and were concerned a skier was buried in the snow. As they carefully approached the area, they initially thought they saw a man’s arm poking out of the snow. Instead, a moaning, groaning moose came into focus.
After 10 minutes of digging, the men managed to free much of moose’s body out of the packed snow. The moose quickly galloped away, enjoying its freedom.
Most of the Hatcher Pass area (where the men found the moose) has some level of avalanche hazard, according to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Avalanches are a serious danger to both man and beast. According to Avalache.org, avalanches caused 35 fatalities during the 2013-2014 season.