Reality bites

Moose. The real thing. In Norway, they’re called the King of the Forest. While they may make news for odd reasons, like when getting drunk on fermenting fallen apples in the fall, a close encounter is usually very dramatic. The most common moose and man meeting is an animal versus car collision; in face-to-face meetings their imposing size is awesome.

The most recent headline moose tale is not for the faint of heart. The reports in today’s links include video and photo coverage in unusually graphic detail, because this is a freak story even for an area where the animals are relatively common.

Crime scene: On the morning of January 20th, a full grown moose broke into a nursing home in Ål, smashing through a window into an empty room. It then crossed the hallway and strolled into an occupied room, where a resident was eating breakfast.

The surprised occupant managed to bolt out of the room, and section head Tone Berg produced the keys and locked the moose in. “I didn’t know how solid the door was,” Tone told local newspaper Hallingdølen, so they acted fast.

Local wildlife authorities were called, and the home evacuated. The moose, enraged at being trapped, went ‘berserk’ in the confines of the room, while police and the wildlife people assessed the situation.

“It went crazy,” one of the wildlife authority’s representatives told daily VG’s web edition. Audun Steinkjer was called in to solve the drama, and the experienced hunter dispatched the beast with one shot. “Now we’ll fix it so the nursing home gets a lot of good moose meat,” was Audun’s earthy verdict.

While Einar Lauvang, head of the local wildlife authority, said this kind of ‘visit’ was exceedingly rare, moose have been moving in Hallingdal recently. “They go to the bottom of the valley now that it’s so cold and there’s so much snow. Lately there have been a lot of moose in the residential areas – extreme numbers,” Lauvang told VG.

Video and gory pictorial report can be found here:


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