Deadly Moose Fight on Ice Leads to Remarkable Body Preservation

Credit: Brad Webster
Credit: Brad Webster

Two moose engaged in a deadly fight froze together after falling — antlers locked — into a shallow Alaskan lake.

The perfect preservation of their bodies beneath nearly a foot of ice made for a startling discovery by Unalakleet local Brad Webster.

The town of Unalakleet is located on the coast of the Bering Sea in Alaska, boasting November temperature ranges of 5 – 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall is moose breeding season or ‘rut’ and during this time of year male moose fight over females.

Credit: Brad Webster
Credit: Brad Webster

Kris Hundertmark, biologist and wildlife expert at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, concluded that the moose had gotten their antlers locked together, fallen into the water, and drowned.

Webster and a friend discovered the bodies during a tour of his Bible campgrounds. The astonishing scene resulted in a subsequent excavation of the bodies with the help of a taxidermist — and an even more interesting development. The two moose weren’t just locked together at the antlers but actually physically attached. One of the animals had pierced the other’s skull, instantly killing him, but the victor’s inability to retract his antlers led to the crumpling of the dead moose through the ice sheet — taking the other with him. 

Webster intends to mount the heads in order to memorialize the event and have a great story to tell the students of his Bible camp. Rarely has an event of this kind been so perfectly preserved in nature. 


When moose fight, things can get pretty intense. Watch one such battle below:

When antlers clash, they can sometimes get stuck together. See more stuck bucks here.