A rare white moose in Sweden who likes the suburban life a little too much has won the fight of his life. At least for now. The trouble began when the moose (sometimes called an elk in Europe) rattled nerves in western Värmland when it charged a woman walking her dogs, the Local reports. When police threatened to shoot it, people aiming to protect "Ferdinand" flocked to two online petitions that quickly logged more than 30,000 signatures. Those efforts were no doubt helped by a video that went viral of Ferdinand enjoying a late summer soak in a stream. Arvika police chief Christer Lööf last week told the magazine Svensk Jakt per Radio Sweden that hunters would first be dispatched to shoo the animal away from a residential neighborhood he seems to favor. But if those efforts failed, the chief said the only choice would be a death sentence for Ferdinand.
Since it's elk-hunting season, there would be no legal problem, says a hunter who tells Radio Sweden it won't be him pulling the trigger. It's not Ferdinand's first offense. He annoyed residents three years ago when he startled some kids. Lööf tells the Local some people are scared to go outside. But animal rights activists say the unusual creature, likely an albino, shouldn't be punished. "It would be a shame if we were to kill him just because he's acting like a wild animal," says one local councilor. But on Tuesday, authorities ruled that Ferdinand's lack of aggression since Nov. 6 means he can carry on munching leaves. "The white moose in Sweden is saved," one petition reads. (Not all hunters are liking Arby's venison sandwich.)