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Struggling moose rescued from the waters of Lake Nipissing

A Labour Day weekend cruise on Lake Nipissing turned into a rescue operation for six northerners after they discovered a moose in distress in the water.

Six boaters saw a moose in distress in the distance while cruising on Lake Nipissing on Sept. 2/23. (Supplied)Dan and Dan and Marie-Lou Dunne, Vickie and Wyman Whitmell and Shannon and Lois Foisy said they were on the lake near Blueberry Island at about 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 3, when they spotted the moose about half of a kilometre off the shore.

“When we first noticed her in the water you could see she was doing circles back in forth,” said Vickie, in an online message to CTV News.

“That was before we got close enough to really even know it was a moose.”

The locals from North Bay and Sturgeon falls were spread among two boats and two personal watercraft (PWC).

The rescuers said the moose was seemingly in distress and seemed confused as to where it was.

“After observing her, we noticed she was struggling,” said Marie-Lou.

“It took one hour to guide her to shore.”

Marie-Lou said they calmly guided her back to shore with the PWCs – careful not to run circles around her – adding Vickie encouraged the moose by saying “hee ho” to keep it going.

Using PCWs the northern boaters calmly and carefully lead the moose back to shore. (Supplied)The rescuers said the moose seemed grateful for the guidance, adding it took her almost 15 minutes to get up and stand once they got to shore.

“She was absolutely exhausted,” said Vickie.

“Her poor back legs were shaking so badly every time she made an attempt to stand.”

Shannon said many in this group of friends were raised in an Indigenous culture and from their perspective, their creator put them on the lake that day for a reason.

“The best part is once we got her back to shore it took her a bit to try to stand because she was so tired,” she said Shannon.

“But once she did she looked back at us… and we all got the sense that she was saying ‘thanks guys.’”

All involved said they were glad they could help her get back on dry land.

After about an hour the rescuers had the moose back to shore. (Supplied)– With files from CTV News Northern Ontario digital content specialist Chelsea Papineau Top Stories

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