Thanks to a group of New Brunswick firefighters, a moose is on the loose.

Rescue workers were called to the near-frozen Shediac River on Saturday to free a 225-kilogram female moose that had fallen through the ice near the middle of the river.

“She certainly was not moving very much,” eyewitness Ron Chiasson told CTV Atlantic. “She was splayed out on the ice. When they did manage to approach her, she didn't try to get up or anything like that.”

An online video posted by the Shediac Fire Department shows rescue workers hammering at the ice to free the stranded animal.

Capt. Julien Boudreau of the Shediac Fire Department says that they have been called out to rescue many different animals from ice before, but never a moose. At first, it wasn’t a given that firefighters would be able to help, Boudreau added.

“We have to do a risk analysis in terms of, is it safe for us to go out there?” Boudreau told CTV Atlantic. “We also have to do the risk analysis of, if we don't go out there, what can happen? We could have bystanders that go out there and then create a bigger issue.”

With the RCMP and the Department of Natural Resources on hand to offer advice and guidance, firefighters were eventually able to chisel a path through the ice and herd the soggy animal to safety.

“I don't think anybody likes to see an animal in distress,” Chiasson said. “And it's like the warden said. He said, perhaps she might not do well, you know, because of hypothermia. But you know, you give her a chance and what else can you do?”

Boudreau says that the water wasn’t very deep and that firefighters had proper gear. Still, he’s advising people to be very cautious around any frozen body of water at this time of year.

“It's early to have ice,” Boudreau said. “It's not safe ice. At this point in time we would not recommend anyone going on the ice.”

With files from CTV Atlantic