Over the course of their travels, this snowmobile group has enjoyed the sight of many wild animals – but this surprise encounter with a 1,000-pound moose stuck in a snowbank became the story most worth repeating.

The massive mammal had become lodged neck-deep in at least 6 feet of power in western Newfoundland last month. Jonathan Anstey, who had been out on an excursion with several other riders from the SledCore snowmobiling group, was only able to spot the moose because its brown head stood out starkly against the white background.

The group grabbed their shovels and spent 15 minutes digging away at the snow before they finally backed off and coaxed the moose out of the hole.

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Anstey says that once the animal realized that it could stand up, it cautiously climbed out of the hole and spent a minute recovering before wandering back into the wild, occasionally looking back at its rescuers “as if to say thank you”.

“We’d like to be known as a back-country riding clinic and not a moose rescuer,” Anstey told the Canadian Press. “We do what we need to do to help the wild as much as possible and give them their space.”

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He also advises against anyone attempting to do similar stunts without the right experience.

“When a moose gets distressed, they pin their ears back, their hair stands up on their back, and they lick their lips a lot. You could tell he was extremely distressed,” he added. “You don’t really want to get close to a big animal like that as they can charge or do a lot of damage.”

Lucky for the moose, he ran into these snow angels that day.

(WATCH the video below)

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