As anyone who has a dog knows, pets and noisy machines like vacuums and lawnmowers don’t mix, so it was no surprise that when a giant white moose in Sweden encountered an automated lawnmower, it was none too pleased.
The moose, which some outlets have misreported as being albino, is in fact simply white. Though rare, white moose are the result of a recessive gene that results in the animal becoming white with specks of brown — a condition referred to as piebald.
This particular moose, who was happily eating apples from a tree and minding his own business, was startled by an automated lawnmower, which had been set by the owners of the home unaware the moose was in the vicinity.
After being caught off guard by the mower, the moose understandably chose to silence the approaching "predator" by stomping it to "death" with its hooves. A video of the incident was captured by Marianne Niklasson, who spotted the moose while she was driving by.
“I never thought in my entire life that I would experience such a thing,” Niklasson told SVT News Varmland. “He did not like the lawnmower.”
Niklasson, who was on her way to her summer cottage in central Sweden, carefully got close enough to film the moose, without scaring it, when the robot lawnmower appeared out of nowhere. The woman said she had never seen a white moose before and was surprised that she and her husband were able to get so close without scaring it off.
After the moose disposed of the lawnmower, the couple admits that they were slightly afraid it might focus his anger on them. "After it attacked the lawnmower, it looked straight at us and then I thought, 'Now he's attacking the car.' So I was really scared," Niklasson told STV. "We drove away, but the moose stayed. He did not care about us but just wanted more apples."
Though rarely seen, white moose have been spotted on occasion. Last June, two white moose twins were captured on film in Norway by Lee Kantar, a state deer and moose biologist from Maine. Kantar originally thought the moose may have been albinos, however, Göran Ericsson, a professor of elk and moose for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, explained that white moose do in fact exist. Ericsson says the white moose populations may be actually increasing since, other than humans, they have few predators.
“Hunters have chosen to not kill any moose that are light,” said Ericsson, meaning they have been unofficially protected, therefore making natural selection among white moose more prevalent.
“It is kind of like dog breeding,” Ericsson added. “They [hunters] choose to select for traits that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred.” As for the incident between the moose and the lawnmower, it appears that for now in the battle between the moose and the machines, the moose are winning.