Friday, 25 November 2016

Frozen pair of fighting moose discovered in remote Alaska village

Middle school teacher photographs animals encased in ice, lying on their sides with antlers apparently locked, in ‘vision of how brutally harsh life can be’

Associated Press in Anchorage
Saturday 19 November 2016 17.13 GMT

Two moose were recently discovered frozen in battle and encased in ice near a remote village on Alaska’s unforgiving western coast.

Brad Webster, a middle school social studies and science teacher in Unalakleet, captured images of the huge animals poking through the ice as they lay on their sides with antlers apparently locked together.

He had taken a friend who recently moved to the village for a walk on 2 November near a frozen slough at Covenant Bible camp, where Webster volunteers as a camp steward.

 “That’s when we saw it,” he said in a phone interview Friday. He initially thought it was just one moose that had been shot but when he got a closer look, he saw the second moose.

It took him a moment to realize what he was seeing, he said.

It was the end of moose rutting season, and the animals were probably fighting over a female moose. Webster speculates that one of the animals was wounded by the other animal’s antlers, and perhaps died as their antlers were caught together, dragging the rival down with it.

“It was a very interesting experience,” Webster said of the discovery.

On the way back to Unalakleet, he and his friend kept thinking about it and saying, “We really saw that,” in amazement, Webster recalled.

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