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Moose gets antlers stuck in a hammock while showing off to his date

Moose hammock 4.jpg
Lionel Montoya
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Bull moose taking on the Montoyas' hammock.

A bull moose caught his rack in a Summit Park family's hammock Monday while trying to attract a nearby cow.

Summit Park resident Lionel Montoya said the bull had spent much of the summer in the vicinity of his yard. His family has seen a cow moose hanging out in the backyard as well.

He said the moose have been quiet and calm, sleeping in the grass all summer - until Monday, when the bull started clanking the Montoyas’ swing set with his antlers.

Moose hammock 3.jpg

Montoya said he and his wife were making dinner when their cat became worked up, pacing and mewing, and alerted them to the commotion going on in their backyard.

Moose hammock cat 2.jpg
Lionel Montoya
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Montoya's cat alerts the family to a clatter in the backyard

"He ultimately got bored with playing with the swing, and so he went over toward her, you know, just getting his paddles and starting to rub them back and forth along the hammock," Montoya said. "He was just kind of playing with the hammock as he was the swings. But he started getting more and more aggressive."

Montoya was worried about how aggressive the bull was becoming and feared it would be injured and that it might knock down the trees holding the hammock.

He called the Summit County Sheriff's Office, hoping to get a wildlife resource officer to respond. Montoya learned the DWR (Division of Wildlife Resources) would not be able to come for at least three hours.

Montoya said the bull was frantically trying to get out of his tangle with the hammock. And then help arrived.

“The Summit County Sheriff's Department showed up," Montoya said. "Those two deputies that you see in the video, they just kind of observed, and you can see that the moose was at that point super agitated. He was grunting. He was doing his best to get out of that panic."

Moose hammock 5.jpg
Lionel Montoya
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Summit County Sheriff's Deputies remove the hammock fabric from entanglement in the moose's antlers.

Montoya said the deputies decided to act since the wildlife response wasn’t arriving anytime soon.
     
"I think the moose almost realized that those deputies were going to help him in some way, to the point where he went behind the tree and let them get close," Montoya said. "And then the video tells the rest of the story from there. If it weren't for those deputies taking on that risk, that moose would have sat in that position until DNR would have gotten there. I think these guys just kind of went over and beyond to help this animal out."

Montoya said the deputies somehow calmed the animal and it slipped behind a tree. He said it took them about a minute to cut the hammock fabric away from the bull’s antlers.

"It ended up releasing in one clean cut, and he was able to run off through the woods to the cow that he was trying to show off for," Montoya said. "[She] was waiting for him. And they ended up just actually going about their business there in those trees for another hour or two, having some dinner, and they didn't seem to be too afraid of everything that happened. And they actually stuck around the backyard for a while."

To see the video of how a moose can get into trouble on date night can be found here.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.