COLBERT, Wash. - Bolt cutters and a tranquilizer - that's what it took to free a moose in Spokane County after a swing set standoff. The animal's fight to free itself only made the situation worse.
It's a call WDFW (Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife) Wildlife Conflict Specialist Kile Westerman won't soon forget.
"It had the whole swing set wrapped around - the chain from the swing set wrapped around its antlers," said Westerman.
The curious moose, estimated to weigh 900 pounds, found itself in a life-threatening struggle.
"It was certainly tied up so bad, it was going to severely injure itself, maybe break its skull trying to get loose," said Westerman.
Wildlife officials had only one option - to tranquilize the wild animal. They aimed for the rump.
"We had to wait for the perfect shot because you want to make sure the dart goes into a big muscle mass," Westerman said.
Once the drugs kicked in, Fish and Wildlife officers armed with bolt cutters got to work. Within a matter of seconds, the moose was free. After a brief nap, it ran off with only a scratch.
"It did have a little mark by its eye, but it didn't puncture the eye or anything like that," Westerman said.
For him, it was just another day at the office. But for the moose - a hard lesson that swing sets can be a pain in the butt.
Westerman said the homeowner did the right thing by calling for help and keeping their distance.
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