Not only did they pull the hefty 600-kilogram pregnant cow out of an ice hole, but they massaged her frozen limbs back to life.
This is one lucky moose.... picture: Uralhelicom
The remarkable footage and pictures show the act of kindness by the people on board a helicopter flying over the Siberian taiga in Khanty-Mansiisk region.
They spotted the moose from the air and taking a closer look realised she was still alive and in urgent need of help. The animal had fallen through the thinning ice of a frozen swamp and was stranded. A few more hours and she would have perished.
The three men gradually pulled the moose out of the ice hole, one leg at a time; this was not the end of it. The moose lay beached on the frozen lake, unable to move, apparently numb from an estimated 20 hours in the water. Pictures: Uralhelicom
First the pilot from Uralhelicom helicopter manufacturing company went back to his base to ropes and harnesses, then returned for the mercy mission.
Dramatically, the three men - with another recording the rescue - gradually pulled the moose out of the ice hole, one leg at a time.
But this was not the end of it. The moose lay beached on the frozen lake, unable to move, apparently numb from an estimated 20 hours in the water.
'Get her moving, she's got cramp,' says one of the rescuers.
The batteries of the camera ran out in the minus 7C temperatures but the men first massaged the moose then covered her with jackets to warm her.
At first she didn't move but then as the helicopter left the moose - by now named Manka and tagged with a blue ribbon around her neck - is seen clambering onto her feet and walking away from the scene of her ordeal, in the Lake Arantur area.
Not only did they pull the hefty 600-kilogram pregnant cow out of an ice hole, but they massaged her frozen limbs back to life. Pictures: Uralhelicom
Five days later, she was seen again from the air - her ribbon clearly visible - and apparently in good health.
Now the helicopter team want to find Manka again and film the calf's birth later this year.
Watch the rescue operation:
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