Moose calf caught between floatplane and dock in Homer is saved

A Homer tourism worker and two police officers rescued a moose calf from what police described as “a sure demise” after it fell into a lake and got stuck in a narrow space between a floatplane and a dock.

Spencer Warren, who works for Destination Alaska Adventure Co., arrived at work on Beluga Lake about 6:30 a.m. Friday to prepare a floatplane for the day’s trip when he heard what he thought was an odd-sounding bird.

He quickly spotted the moose calf stuck between the floats of the plane and the dock.

He immediately thought, “Oh, man, where is mama? I know she’s nearby,” before spotting the worried cow nearby with another calf.

The calf tried to get out of the lake, but couldn’t find its footing on the top of the metal float. Its wary mother was keeping Warren, the would-be rescuer, from getting too close as it struggled.

“It’s like an ice rink for the moose and its hooves,” Warren said of Friday’s rescue. “So he just kept slipping and slipping and could not get up.”

Warren checked in with his boss, who called Homer police.


One officer eventually positioned his police cruiser between the cow moose and the floatplane to allow another officer and Warren to rescue the calf, Homer Police Lt. Ryan Browning told The Associated Press.

The calf was stuck with one leg outstretched across the top of the plane’s float.

“You know, kind of thankfully, he wasn’t moving so that it made the rescue a little bit easier,” Warren said. “We just lifted him straight out and, put him on the dock there.”

The exhausted calf splayed out on the boardwalk until an officer helped it stand. The calf reunited with its mother and she licked the water off it — all caught on camera by Warren.

“Anytime you can rescue a little critter, it always makes you feel good,” Browning said.

Mark Thiessen, Associated Press

Mark Thiessen is a reporter for the Associated Press based in Anchorage.