In the November Leader Letter I announced we were building a Moose Gallery and asked for stories and photos (see “It’s Moose Hunting Season”). Within a week of that issue hitting inboxes, I had three readers send me the following photo and story:

Pogo Moose Incident – Fairbanks, Alaska

"They were laying new power cables which were strung on the ground for miles. The moose are rutting right now and very agitated. He was thrashing around and got his antlers stuck in the cables. When the men (miles away) began pulling the lines up with their big equipment, the moose went up with them. They noticed excess tension in the lines and went searching for the problem. He was still alive when they lowered him to the ground. He was a huge 60 inch bull and slightly peeved!"

This seemed like an urban legend and a bit too far-fetched to me. So I started checking the web. Apparently it’s a true story. Proving, once again, that truth is stranger than fiction! But according to Urban Legends the story ended with a much less than metaphorical Moose-on-the-Table:

Moose on a Wire

Netlore Archive: Emailed image shows an unfortunate moose accidentally strung up on power cables by a utility crew near Fairbanks, Alaska
Description: Emailed image
Circulating since: November 2006
Status: Authentic

“True. On October 5, 2004, electric workers were stringing power cable along a stretch of Pogo Mine Road 80 miles southeast of Fairbanks when, unbeknownst to them, a 1,200-pound bull moose became entangled in the cable and was hoisted 50 feet off the ground when the line was winched to the top of the utility poles.

This being real life and not an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, the incident probably sounds more amusing than it actually was. The moose was still alive when the workers found it, photographed it, and finally lowered it to the ground, but their efforts to disentangle it were thwarted by the critter’s own panicked attempts to flee. In the end, after consulting with the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, power company officials decided to put the moose out of its misery. The meat, we’re told, was salvaged and donated to a local resident.”