Outdoorsy folks tend to accumulate plenty of memorable stories from their adventures in the wilderness. Nature simply has a way of surprising them with once-in-a-lifetime experiences when they least expect it. Hans Nilsson from Eda, Sweden, was one such person—though his recent experience had to be seen to be believed!
Considering the vast array of flora and fauna found in Sweden, it makes sense that its countryside boasts some impressive experiences in nature. Hans spent a lot of his spare time photographing the local wildlife, but nothing could’ve ever prepared him for the incredibly rare creature he captured on video one afternoon…
If you spend a lot of time exploring the wilderness, you’re bound to see something incredible. That was exactly what happened to Hans Nilsson, one local politician from Eda, Sweden, while he was out filming in the gorgeous Swedish forests.
Hans loved nature. He would frequently spend hours exploring the forests around his town and capturing as much of it as he could on camera. He would often see wild animals on his travels, and he recorded plenty of stunning footage of them in Sweden’s glorious countryside.
However, nothing prepared Hans for what he was about to see on one particular afternoon. While out exploring, he came upon a scenic stream running through the hills. He decided to focus his lens on the rippling water—and that was when he saw something that made his jaw hit the floor…
It was a white moose! This was actually the second day in a row Hans though he’d spotted this particular animal. He didn’t have his camera the first time, however, so the second time around he made sure he was ready so he could have proof of what he saw.
Hans was dumbstruck as the massive creature slowly made his way from the trees to the edge of the stream. It was truly like nothing he’d seen in all his years photographing the local Swedish wildlife!
Hans had heard about albino moose, but he’d never actually seen one in person. For the past three years, he’d searched Eda for one, hoping to capture it on video, but he never got the chance. Now, his dream had finally come true…
For fear that he might scare the animal away before he could capture stunning photographs, Hans remained as quiet as he could. As Hans patiently waited, the majestic moose slowly waded his way to the opposite side of the stream.
Sweden is one of the most densely populated regions in the world for moose, as it’s home to roughly 400,000 of them. However, only about 100 of them are white. So the odds of seeing one in the wild, like Hans did, are just astounding.
Hans couldn’t wait to show the rare footage of his encounter to everyone he knew. He knew full well that they wouldn’t have believed he’d spotted such a rare animal if he didn’t have the proof on video.
Even though Hans’s sighting was incredibly rare, he wasn’t the only one who spotted a white moose. Another Swedish photographer named Jessica Hemlin had also photographed a white moose that summer. According to her, the animal frequently visited her home in Munkeda, Sweden!
Experts agree that albinism in moose is simply the result of a genetic variation in color, much like in humans and other animals. Two brown moose could have white offspring if both parents carry the albino gene, but that’s not the only explanation for a moose with white fur…
While some white moose have albinism, others actually have a recessive gene that causes the white fur. After reviewing the moose in Hans’s video, experts suggested that he was not albino.
Hans had certainly captured something very special, and thanks to his video, he finally got his proof! He knew he wasn’t seeing things the first time he’d spotted the rare white moose.
Having spent some time studying white moose, Hans estimated the one he encountered was about eight years old. That only made his sighting all the more impressive, too, since less than five percent of male moose live that long.
Researchers have suggested the 100 remaining white moose were likely a result of unintentional natural selection. That’s because when a hunter encountered them, he or she was more likely to let them go. In turn, this increased the moose’s chances of surviving and breeding—and passing along the white fur gene.
Göran Ericsson, a professor from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, explained that many hunters chose to leave white moose alone to keep their numbers up. “It is kind of like dog breeding. They choose to select for traits that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred.”
The moose that Hans’s spotted was incredibly calm as it gnawed on some nearby plants; it was as if he knew Hans wasn’t a threat, and he wanted to allow Hans to appreciate his beauty. Of course, as a wildlife hobbyist, Hans was happy to stay as long as the moose would allow him to.
The moose lingered a short while longer before he slowly turned his head and looked directly at Hans, as if to suggest he knew he was being filmed. Then, he quietly wandered off into the distance while Hans stood in utter disbelief at his luck.
Hans was interviewed by a local Swedish paper shortly after his once-in-a-lifetime run-in with the moose. He said, “When I shot the video, everything fell into place: the location, the light, and the calmness. It was an experience to meet such a stately animal up close.”
Hans was so lucky to be able to experience the majestic white moose in person. Luckily for animal and outdoor enthusiasts, people like him are able to capture such magnificent occasions on video so everyone can appreciate the rare encounter!
Isn’t it lucky that everything fell into place that day? Surely this moment will be a dear memory to Hans for years to come.
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