White Moose Stuns in Sweden

Hans Nilsson recorded animal Friday in Varmland region
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 11:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – For three years, Hans Nilsson has been on a quest to find a rare white moose in southwestern Sweden. Finally, on two consecutive days last week, he succeeded—and, on the second day, happened to have his camera rolling, reports the Local. "Everything fell into place: the location, the light, and the calmness," Nilsson says of Friday's encounter in the Varmland region. The resulting footage, which has since gone viral, shows a white moose crossing a small river and munching on foliage. According to the BBC, the animal is believed to be one of just 100 white moose in Sweden. While some are albino, the one Nilsson recorded is piebald, meaning its coloration is the result of a genetic mutation, per National Geographic.

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Though clearly rare, one expert believes white moose may be increasing in number in Sweden because hunters, apparently stunned by their beauty, tend to leave them in peace. Moose face few other predators in the country. But a local resident—whose apple tree is frequently visited by a white moose—says the animals are "constantly chased and disturbed" by non-hunters hoping for a glimpse of their white fur, per the Local. That's bad news for both the moose and humans since moose "can get aggressive," she says. Two white moose calves were spotted earlier this summer in Norway, per Nat Geo. White moose have also been seen in Alaska and in Canada, where hunters are banned from killing moose that are more than 50% white. (Pandas are piebald, too.)

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