Alaskan Floatplane Worker and Police Rescue Baby Moose from Lake


Bathed in the early morning light, Spencer Warren, an employee of Destination Alaska Adventure Co., began his regular 6:30 a.m. routine to ready a floatplane for the day’s tour. On this particular day, the hum of the awakening sleepy town of Homer, located roughly 220 miles south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula, was interrupted by an peculiar bird-like sound.

Upon investigating, Warren was met with the unexpected sight of a baby moose. The young calf was wedged in a precarious predicament between the metal-and-wood safety of the dock and his floatplane, stationed on the tranquil waters of Beluga Lake.

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His collision with reality made him realize that it was the cries of a baby moose echoing across the lake and not the chirp of some wayward bird. His eyes then fell upon a fearful mother moose and her other calf anxiously nearby – hardly four feet away. Recalling a recent incident where an innocent photographer fell victim to a fiercely protective mother moose defending her offspring, Warren refrained from making any hasty moves.

The stranded calf was desperately trying to ascend the metallic float – an infrastructural piece meant to replace a plane’s wheels for water landings, but the sleek, slippery surface was proving to be a formidable foe for its tender hooves. Embattled and deprived of strength, the young moose kept toppling down.

Halting his routine, Warren dialed his boss, who set the wheels of rescue in motion by contacting the local law enforcement. One officer drew the cautious gaze of the fretful mother away from the scene by positioning his police vehicle in her line of sight. Meanwhile, another officer and Warren endeavored to salvage the wearied calf from its potential watery grave.

The calf’s stretched leg was stuck, clasped by the unyielding grip of the sharp-edged float. However, in an unforeseen stroke of fortune, its exhaustion worked in favor of the rescue operation. Regardless, Warren reflected that the situation was “like an ice rink for the moose and its hooves… it just kept slipping and slipping.”

Levering collective strength and driven by their shared intent, the duo maneuvered the calf onto the dock. After a brief period of uncertainty, the officer managed to get the calf on its feet. The mother, now liberated from her distress, approached and tenderly licked the residual water off its body.

This touching reunion, the culmination of a daring rescue, was perfectly captured by Warren’s smartphone. He often reflects back on these events which bear witness to his exceptional day at work where he not only saved a flight but also a life. Lt. Ryan Browning, a Homer Police officer, fondly recollects the incident, “Anytime you can rescue a little critter, it always makes you feel good.”