BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — What does one say when finding a moose in a basement next to a broken pingpong table? Your serve.
A moose grazing near a Colorado home fell through a snow-covered window well and into a basement on Monday, wildlife officials said.
According to a news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, officers were called to a home in Breckenridge at about 3:30 p.m. MST. Officers found the animal trapped in the basement of the home, unhurt except for a small cut on its leg, KCNC-TV reported. No one was home at the time, KMGH-TV reported.
The wildlife officers opened doors to create exits for the moose, but the animal was reluctant to climb up the basement staircase to leave the home, the news release stated.
The basement at that point had been damaged with glass on the floor, a broken couch and the beaten-up pingpong table, KCNC reported.
Jacob Kay, a district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, told KCNC that compared to bears or mountain lions, which are also plentiful in the area, moose are more dangerous to deal with.
“Moose are typically the animal I have the most fear around,” Kay told the television station.
Wildlife officers tranquilized the moose and cut off its antlers so that it could fit up the stairs, according to the CPW news release. Moose antlers typically fall off this time of year, and the animal will grow new antlers in the spring, officials said.
Officers were able to carry the 1,000-pound moose up the stairs and released him into the wild.
“It took all of us and everything that we had to get him on that mat and up the stairs,” Sgt. Patrick Finley, a spokesperson with the Breckenridge Police Department, told KCNC.
“It was a great team effort, and other than a small cut on its leg, the moose appeared to be healthy,” Kay said in a statement.
“It’s important that window wells allow people in a home to escape in the event of an emergency, but at times they can be hazards to wildlife,” Jeromy Huntington, an area wildlife manager for CPW, said in a statement. “Removing vegetation that may attract wildlife around the vicinity of window wells and covering below ground window wells with approved grates that allow people to escape will reduce the likelihood of wildlife becoming trapped, or in this case, having an unwelcome visitor in the home.”
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