BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — Housekeepers got the shock of a lifetime on Monday when they showed up to a home only to discover a 1,200-pound moose in the basement.
That "basement moose" got there by doing what moose like to do — graze.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the animal had been foraging for grass near a home off Ski Hill Road in Breckenridge. That's when the moose fell through a snow-covered window well and into the home's basement, becoming trapped downstairs.
"I got a call from the cleaning company, and they said, 'Are you sitting down?'" said the home's property manager, Noureen Galaba. "They told me that the cleaning ladies, they're Hispanic, and I don't know if they knew the word for moose in Spanish, but they said 'grande brown.'"
Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers were called to the home to get the moose back in the wild. They opened doors to create exits for the animal, but it wouldn't make its way up the stairs.
Wildlife officers ended up tranquilizing the moose, cutting off its antlers, carrying it up the stairs and safely releasing it back into quality moose habitat in the Colorado mountains.
CPW said officials removed the moose's antlers to fit it through the staircase and reduce further damage to the home. They added that moose typically lose their antlers this time of year and regrow them in the spring.
"It was a great team effort, and other than a small cut on its leg, the moose appeared to be healthy," said CPW District Wildlife Manager Jake Kay in a press release.
Galaba said the moose broke a window and a ping-pong table and made a mess of the basement area.
"Looks like he checked out every bedroom and pooped in every bedroom," she said.
The homeowner, Jane Barber, wasn't present at the time of the moose's visit. But she says she's just glad the animal is OK.
"It was funny because it was comic relief, because so many hard things are going on in the world and because the moose was OK and the damage probably was relatively minimal," she said. "It just pointed to the bizarreness and unexpectedness of life, and it just made me feel lighter."
CPW recommends owners of homes with window wells remove vegetation around the wells to prevent further incidents with moose in the area.