Young moose breaks the ice at family pool in early morning visit


The yearling moose stands in icy water. Click any photo to launch gallery. All photos by Shawn Cunningham

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

How do you get a yearling moose out of your swimming pool? That was the problem Chester resident Scott Tyrrell faced on Thursday morning.

But with the help of Chester Police and a Vermont Game warden, the wayward animal is now back in the woods chilling with his mom.


Residents seek to comfort him.

According to Tyrrell, the moose was found this morning, knee-deep in the family swimming pool, which had been drained of most of its water and covered. Icicles dripped from his underbelly.

Tracks leading from the woods behind the house, off Route 10 in Chester, ended on the pool deck, where the animal fell into a couple of feet of water. The family’s dogs had been barking at around 2 a.m. and residents thought that the moose may have been in the pool since then.


The 500-pound male watches as rescuers prepare.

Chester Police Chief Rick Cloud and Det. Andy Brothers responded to the call around 8:35 a.m.. The Department of Fish and Wildlife was called and Vermont State Game Warden Jason Gravelle arrived about an hour later.

“This is my first moose in a pool,” quipped Gravelle,  who set to work to find a way out for the animal.

At first, the idea was to make a ramp that the moose could be pulled up by a rope, but once Cloud has lassoed the animal, Gravelle decided to pull him out directly with straps, warning everyone to stay clear of the legs and hooves.


He’s none-too-thrilled by the close-up attention.

The moose, which stands about 5 feet at the shoulders, appeared spooked by the unwelcomed attention.

Cloud then pulled the moose to the edge of the pool while Gravelle and others snaked more straps under him. The group then pulled the mewling moose up onto the pool deck and held him down as they attempted to free him from the straps.

But Bullwinkle, as some were calling him, had other ideas.


It takes several rescuers to pull ‘Bullwinkle’ from the pool.

He broke free with the lasso still around his nose and Gravelle at the other end of the long nylon rope. The moose darted toward the woods but Gravelle tackled him and, with others helping to hold Bullwinkle down, he removed the rope.

Finally free, the moose ran up the hill — slipping and sliding — before gaining his footing and disappearing into the trees.

“I’ve rescued a cow and a skunk from a pool, but never a moose,” said Cloud.  “He was fairly cooperative.”

The episode was over by 9:55 a.m.




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  1. Rondo says:

    Great story, great work done by all. Love the pictures.

  2. Kimberly Farrar says:

    Chief Cloud and crew rescue people (so glad you found our Crow Hill Fixture David) and moose! I am so thankful to live in a community where such personal attention is paid to mankind and animals alike! KIM

  3. Barre Pinske says:

    That’s some story. Good job by all.

  4. Lori Tyrrell says:

    Thank you so much for all the help.

  5. Shirley says:

    Thanks for the rescue!