The white moose ghosted onto the “I Love Alaska” Facebook page on Monday, and by Tuesday it’s fate was the subject of some debate.
Gotta love the internets.
A guy in Cincinnati lit the fire: “Hope he survives hunting season. He should not grace the wall of some jackass hunter rather he should be allowed to spread those unique genes.”
What followed was largely predictable. Some wanted the uniquely colored moose protected. Others claimed it already was saved by an Alaska law banning hunters from shooting albino moose. It was a law still others couldn’t find because it apparently doesn’t exist.
Not to mention that the moose doesn’t appear to be an albino; “being white doesn’t make an animal an albino,” as the Missouri Department of Conservation noted in a story “All About Albinism. ” The true test is whether it has pink or light blue eyes.”
There were also some insightful comments.
“Hunting season was over Sept 20th…just saying…he also would have to meet the requirements (spike, fork, 50 inches, or 4 brow tines)…he’s not even legal!!” a woman from Anchorage posted.
True enough for the Anchorage area, but there are other parts of the state where moose seasons run longer, and there are winter seasons, and though the antler restrictions apply to most of the country around Alaska’s largest city and along the state’s limited road system, they don’t apply everywhere.
Brow tines, for those who don’t know, are the forward facing points nearest the moose’s head. This moose in the video appears to have two on each side at first glance, but if you look closely there’s a third point that could lead to an interesting debate between a hunter and a game warden in those parts of the state where legal animals are still those with antlers wider than 50 inches or with three brown tines.
If indeed someone were to shoot the animal, which a few wanted to do although that idea appeared to appall the vast majority.
“I saw an article a couple of years ago about a group of moronic hunters who killed an albino moose in Nova Scotia just for the trophy,” chimed in a guy from New York state.
Mainly, though, most people thought it was just cool to see video of a white (or sort of cream brown moose) in Alaska. Images of the animal appeared to be travling quickly through the tubes. The Facebook has already been shared by 2,100 people, and there’s no telling how many of those with whom it was shared sharved again.
“Lived in ALASKA 38 years and never saw one. Please don’t shoot him,” posted a woman from Anchorage now living in Arizona.
Not to worry. This moose will not be shot in Alaska. This moose could not be shot in Alaska.
Because, number one, it isn’t moose and, number two, it isn’t in Alaska.
It’s an elk as Scandinavians call their moose, and it was filmed near the border of Sweden and Norway. It was featured on the GearJunkie.com website last winter.
Lasse Dybdahl, the Norwegian fireman who shot the video and made it into a short movie, told “Backpacker” magazine that “ I find the white moose at the border between Norway and Sweden. I don’t want to reveal the exact location. I want the moose to live in peace. I have received a lot of requests from photographers around the world about this. I had heard some rumors about white moose here, so I spent several days trying to locate [them]. I spent many hours in my tent trying to find it. Most of the time I went home empty-handed.”
Alert Alaskans might have had immediate questions about where the moose was if they watched the video to the end. The trees in the background with their bare trunks rising to branched tops far above the ground look more like pine, maybe Scots pine, than Alaska white spruce which tend to be branched down to near ground level.
But the moose could be in Alaska. The state does have a lot of moose and occasionally a white one does show up.