US & Canada

Two Alaskan moose found encased in ice after fight

In this Nov. 12, 2016 photo, provided by Jeff Erickson, shows moose antlers after two moose were frozen mid-fight and encased in ice near the remote village of Unalakleet, Alaska, on the state"s western coast. Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Webster and Mr Erickson later went to collect the two moose (one of which was hidden from view)

Two moose have been found encased in ice in a lake while battling each other in a remote Alaskan village.

Brad Webster, a teacher in Unalakleet village, was out walking with a friend at a nearby Bible camp when he spotted moose antlers poking out of the ice.

He said the discovery in western Alaska earlier this month was "an interesting experience".

Autumn is moose rutting season and the animals were likely fighting over a female moose.

Mr Webster speculated that one of the animals was wounded while the two were fighting. He said their antlers probably became locked together, dragging both to their death.

Mr Webster shared his find with Jeff Erickson, a student activities director who took photos of the animals.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The animals were frozen while locked in battle - the moose's heads were removed

Mr Erickson has hunted in the area for 50 years but told the Associated Press he has never seen anything "frozen in time".

"It was such a surreal sight - so serene and quiet, but a stark vision of how brutally harsh life can be."

Mr Webster and Mr Erickson removed the moose bodies from the ice to use the meat for dog food and trapping bait.

The two also removed the moose heads, now located in Mr Webster's yard. They plan to clean them and mount their bleached skulls at the Bible camp.

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