Share This Page

Pa. doctor rescues baby moose from river

| Sunday, June 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

MISSOULA, Mont. — A Pennsylvania doctor on a guided fishing trip in southwestern Montana went home with an amazing tale of hauling in a 25-pound lunker — a baby moose she helped rescue from a rushing river.

Karen Sciascia of Red Hill, Montgomery County, and a guide were fishing the Big Hole River on Saturday when they spotted a cow moose with a calf trying to cross the waterway.

“We were watching this adult female struggling back and forth, and we didn't see a baby until we got close,” Sciascia told the Missoulian for a story published on Thursday. “Mom kept pushing — the current was pretty swift. The mother bolted and took off across the river. She was trying to get across the main portion of the channel, and even she struggled.”

When the calf stepped off the gravel bar into the water to follow its mother, it was swept downstream.

“It was small, and the river was swift,” Sciascia said. “We lost sight of the baby. It was hurtling downstream and was being pushed by the river. It was too small to ever fight the current.”

Sciascia and guide Seth McLean with Four Rivers Fishing Co. in Twin Bridges followed downriver, finally spotting the tiny moose's nose just above the water.

“We got up alongside it, and I just grabbed the little bugger. I scooped it up from the river under its front legs,” Sciascia said.

“I tried to hold it out, not wanting to get my scent all over it, but it was basically limp,” she said. “It was breathing, and with my hand on its chest, I could feel its heart beating real fast.”

McLean rowed the raft upstream and snapped a photo before they dropped off the calf at the side of the river.

The mother had disappeared into the woods but returned to the river after hearing the crying of her young calf. It sounded like a puppy, Sciascia said.

“When we last saw her, we were heading downstream,” she said. “The mother was heading toward it. She had come out of the woods and was heading toward her baby.”

Four Rivers Fishing posted the story, titled “Of Moose and Men,” on its Facebook page Wednesday.

“It was cool to be in the right place at the right time,” Sciascia said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.