A female moose calf was saved in a daring rescue operation on the Sheep River, not far from Calgary.
Ben Clark and Scott Linton were kayaking down the Sheep River in southwestern Alberta when they spotted something out of the ordinary. While resting after negotiating some tricky rapids upstream, two experienced whitewater kayakers observed a moose calf curled up on a cliff shelf directly across from them.
Almost instantly, the calf and the kayakers made eye contact. It stood up, tripped over something, and plunged into the rushing water below. Most of the water in the Sheep River comes from melting glaciers, making it extremely cold in the spring.
Clark realised the calf, despite his fear of the frigid water, was headed for a dangerous rapid if he let it float downstream. It’s risky to swim through an obstacle. Both of them were aware of the pressing need to act fast.
While trying to keep an eye out for Mama, “we jumped out of the boats and went into rescue mode at the same time,” Clark remembered.
Cow moose become extremely protective of their young in late spring, and they have been known to attack anyone who gets too close to them.
Holding onto a throw rope, Linton might wade into the river and rescue the calf from the current.
Linton and Clark were quick to leave the location after their rescue mission was completed.
Clark remarked, “We got the heck out of there when the calf walked up into the sun and started calling for mum.”