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A lucky moose was saved by this group of snowmobile riders in western Newfoundland

A group of snowmobile riders on a weekend trip in western Newfoundland came across this moose, which was stuck in a hole.  (Morgan Hynes/Facebook - image credit)
A group of snowmobile riders on a weekend trip in western Newfoundland came across this moose, which was stuck in a hole. (Morgan Hynes/Facebook - image credit)

Fresh snow? Check. Fresh trails? Check. Saving a moose's life? Check.

Riding western Newfoundland trails by snowmobile and taking in the lush interior scenery is something those who partake in the activity don't soon forget.

Having the opportunity to save a moose's life, however, is a memory that will last a lifetime.

That's exactly what Devin Knight and a group friends experienced over the weekend while on the trail between Cormack and Gros Morne National Park.

"Here was this big hole and you kind of just see the two ears of the moose sticking up," Knight said Tuesday.

"It was quite the surprise because all of a sudden there's this big hole you're watching out for anyway and then there's a full moose in there."

Knight said the group stopped and kept a cautious distance from the wild animal at first.

After some time they realized it was stuck and needed help.

"You could tell he was pretty tired. He was stumbling around in the hole. There was water in the bottom where I guess the water had been running," said Knight.

"There was a little cut on him. He wasn't bleeding but more of just a little bit of hair worn off on him. He probably wouldn't have lasted the night in there."

The group was well equipped, each carrying a shovel in case any of them got stuck in the trail's untouched powder.

Morgan Hynes/Facebook
Morgan Hynes/Facebook

The group sprang into action, by digging down one side of the hole to fill it in enough to give the moose a way to climb out.

"We were careful there, obviously, watching, making sure he wasn't going to run out at us. We knocked the top ledge off, it fell down and we managed to pile the snow up enough to kind of have a ramp out," Knight said.

"We were probably 20 or 30 minutes in total but he wasn't coming out. We figured there was enough of a ramp so that he could come out."

The group then decided to leave, said Knight, thinking the animal was scared of them and unlikely to head for whiter pastures while they were around.

But as they turned their backs, the moose made its move.

"Pretty much by the time we cleared out we watched him climb out and run up the bank and into the trees," said Knight.

"It was a pretty rewarding feeling, I would say. Here's this animal that was suffering and suffering pretty bad and we managed to help him out of that suffering so he could get up and go on and hopefully recover from that incident."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador