The remarkable footage and pictures of this rescue show the act of kindness by the people on board a helicopter. They happened to be flying over the Siberian taiga in Khanty-Mansiisk region when the moose was spotted.
They recognized that the moose was trapped after falling through the ice and upon taking a closer look realised she was still alive. This pregnant moose was in urgent need of their help. If she had been in these conditions a few more hours and she would have perished.
First the pilot from Uralhelicom helicopter manufacturing company went back to his base for ropes and harnesses, then returned for the mercy mission.
Dramatically, the three men along with another recording the rescue they gradually pulled the moose out of the ice hole, one leg at a time.
But this was not the end of the story. The moose lay beached on the frozen lake, unable to move, apparently numb from an estimated 20 hours of being in the water.
‘Get her moving, she’s got cramp,’ says one of the rescuers.
Not only did they pull this hefty 600-kilogram pregnant cow out of an ice hole, but they went to work massaging her frozen limbs back to life.
The batteries for the camera finally ran out in the minus 7C temperatures. But this didn’t stop the men from first massaging the moose then covering her with jackets to warm her up.
At first it didn’t look like she was going to move. But when the helicopter was leaving, the moose – by now named Manka and tagged with a blue ribbon around her neck – is seen clambering her feet and walking away from the scene of her ordeal, in the Lake Arantur area.
Five days later, she was seen again from the air – her ribbon clearly visible – and apparently in good health.
Now the helicopter team wants to find Manka again and film the calf’s birth later this year.