A 2-year-old bull moose was saved from the icy waters of Sandpoint’s Pack River Saturday by three area residents.
One of the men, Cliff Banks, saw the moose at around 9 a.m. fall into the river, which runs through a portion of property owned by Banks’ father.
“It was a six-hour struggle, but we got him out,” said Banks.
With help from his brother, Jerry, and neighbor Mitch Johnson, Banks climbed out 6 feet onto the ice and tried harnessing the moose with rope.
Members of the National Guard and Army Reserve, who were shoveling snow off the roof of Northside Elementary School earlier in the morning, also helped until they left to catch a plane.
When the first attempt failed, a National Guard member used a front-end loader to push snow into the river, creating a less steep slope for the moose to climb out on.
“We pulled like hell and coaxed him up the ramp until he finally got up onto the bank,” said Banks.
In the water, Banks said the moose, which he nicknamed Bullwinkle, looked exhausted and bewildered.
“When we saw his hind legs come up and out, we headed for the trees,” he said. But the moose left them alone and simply stood on the grass nearby.
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