OTTAWA -- A moose is back on the loose after spending several hours in a south Ottawa swimming pool Friday morning.

Homeowner Paul Koch was surprised to find the animal taking a dip in his backyard pool when he walked to his window.

"It's still a mystery to me how she got in the backyard," Koch said. "She'd have to jump a minimum of a five to five-and-a-half-foot fence to do it."

The moose spent several hours swimming around in the pool at the home near Hunt Club Road and Uplands Drive, later moving to the shallow end to stand up.

It wasn't clear whether the animal is trying to find a way out of the pool, or simply enjoying a cool bath. At times, Koch said, she looked a little lonely.

"My wife would like to give her a hug."

Police, conservation officials and National Capital Commission staff all arrived at the scene.

Around 10:30 a.m., Koch said the moose climbed out of the pool, ran across the yard and hopped the fence into another yard, quickly becoming the talk of the neighbourhood.

"I live nearby, so I just thought I'd check it out," neighbour Mike Vorobej said. "It's a big fence and it went over. We don't see them that often. It's really a cow on stilts."

Police at the scene said the moose crossed Hunt Club Road and headed down Uplands Drive, heading for the woods beyond.

Police later said the moose had "rejoined its buddies" in the forest.

The moose punched a serious hole in the Kochs' pool lining. But despite the repairs they'll have to make, the Kochs say this was a highlight of their 40 years as homeowners.