I have fallen in love!
Moose are the most gentlest creatures. I have been lucky enough to get up close and personal with one for the first time during a trip to the Polar Zoo in Bardu.
Moose are called Elk in Europe and Elg in Norwegian. Their average height is about two meters (not including antlers, which can add another metre). The males grow their antlers in the spring to be ready for mating season, which then fall off just before winter.
They say moose are very shy creatures and like to hide behind trees, but the moose I met at the zoo was friendly and personable. Moose mostly live a solitary life in the wild. They can be found in grassy woodlands, crossing roads and sometimes come to take a peek at us through our windows.
I have been warned by a few Norwegians to never get between a mother moose and her young as she is very protective and can charge you if they sense danger. Other than that, Norwegians are quite happy to have their national animal walking around their houses. It brings a sense of nostalgia, like an old family friend popping in to say hi.
Moose are hunted as a game animal in Norway. Hunting is closely regulated by the government, but there are no problems with that because Norwegians love and respect their nature and are happy to follow the rules. Only so many moose are allowed to be taken in a certain area per year so hunters carry a radio with them to get updates. If the quota is made in their area, it’s time to go home–hunting season is over.
I must admit that moose is very tasty. It’s like tender beef with a slight venison flavour. Norwegians usually make a roast dish with moose that brings out the flavour very well.
At first, I was a little pouty to find out Norwegians eat their national symbol but hey, then I remembered that not only do Aussies eat Kangaroo but we cull ’em, pack ’em and ship ’em to the rest of the world.