Man Rescues Moose Trapped in Wire Fence With His Bare Hands

A Canadian man rescued a moose tangled in a wire fence after spotting the animal struggling as he drove past.

Kirk Barharn and wife Angie Hilmer, from Princeton, British Columbia, were in their car near Thirsk Lake when they came upon the animal.

In a Facebook video posted by Hilmer on Tuesday, January 24, Barharn can be seen reversing toward the moose and saying: "Poor thing, she's stuck in the fence."

After Hilmer encouraged her husband to help, he got out of the car and approached the visibly distressed animal.

Barharn can then be seen pushing one of the moose's hooves through the fence with his bare hands as snow falls on both of them.

The moose managed to get to her feet and walk away from the road toward the forest.

"Off you go baby," Hilmer said. "You're welcome. I know she's thankful."

The Facebook footage has been watched more than 10,000 times in two days, with many commenters applauding Barharn. He later told a CBC radio station that the animal had weighed more than 270kg (595 pounds).

A British Columbia conservation officer, Brandon Beck, explained that moose and other animals can get trapped in fences when they try to jump over them.

Beck commended the couple for helping out, but told Canada Today that people who come across animals in distress should contact wildlife officials rather than attempting to rescue them.

He added: "[Barharn] was able to get it out, but I've had other situations where people get hurt by a moose while trying to help them."

Newsweek has contacted Hilmer for comment.

A stock image of a female moose
A stock image of a female moose. "People can be hurt when moose charge, stomp and kick to protect themselves or their young," say wildlife officials. Getty

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, moose are perceived as less dangerous than bears but more people in the state are injured by them each year.

It said: "Moose will usually flee when threatened but under certain circumstances, they can become aggressive. People can be hurt when moose charge, stomp and kick to protect themselves or their young. Understanding a moose's body language when stressed can help you stay safe."

A video of two extremely stressed moose went viral late last year. The footage shows an altercation on a Colorado driveway, as the rutting bulls crash into each other and into parked cars. At one point, one of the moose ends up in the bed of a truck, wedged in by his antlers.

The clip, filmed by Charley Lodwick from the safety of the porch, was posted on Instagram by her father Todd Lodwick in October. It gained traction the following month when it was reposted by actor Michael Rapaport on his TikTok account, where it was watched nearly 30 million times.