highlights of living in Sweden nr. 3 – meet the moose…

…or eventually feed it as well.

close encounters

I have mingled with moose (as much as it is possible through fences) previously at a private moose farm in Kronoberg, where I learnt the most useful term in Swedish – something like “Do you want to see my moose?” (“Vill ni se mina älgar?”). Think about all the scenarios where you can squeeze this sentence into the communication smoothly 😀

But yes, there are such things as private moose farms scattered all around the country. Imagine you and your moose (or two) in the backyard of your farm land (half of it which would be a forest anyway) – it is as usual site at part of Sweden as to keep let’s say chickens or cowsies – just a different farming style and regulations.

one and half week old baby moose on the right (in the back), modestly distressed mom in the middle

So moose farmers would usually have their income (partly) from opening their farms to visitors. Some lets you walk around the part of the farm where the animals live, some of them will shovel you into an old, open military truck pulled by a tractor and will drive you through areas where you can feed and pat a moose – or two.

never ever thought that there will be a big, warm, sniffing moose head landing in my lap ever – until this Sunday

There are dozens of moose farms all over in Småland (as we got to know from the friendly owner at Virum Älgpark, some doing well, some going bankrupt, some managing 400 visitors per day in high season (like at Virum) amongst a friendly bunch of moose.

Note on the friendly bunch of moose: don’t forget the fact that no matter how cute they look and clumsy they are, they can be a pain in the you-know-where if you meet them at a highspeed road or when they climb up on your apple tree and get tipsy on rotten apples.

Note also that these cuddly giants at this farm are very social for a reason. Every season day get to meet thousands of people and we, the guests are handing out branches of goodies to them, so they are friendly for a reason. But just like the owner pointed out, their friendliness is misleading: he has been kicked numerous times by their own animals on numerous random occasions, so keep in mind that you should be aware of the moose (regardless if they are super cute).

picturesque but unpredictable