‘Elk safari’ backs up A7 traffic

‘Elk safari’ backs up A7 traffic
Knutschi enjoying his new surroundings on September 29. Photo: DPA
Police closed the A7 motorway near the border of Hesse and Lower Saxony in both directions on Monday evening, causing massive traffic jams for what witnesses called a “elk safari.”

The animal, known as a moose in North America, was sighted along the motorway several times near Kassel on Monday morning. Authorities believe it wandered into the region from Poland or the Czech Republic.

Because drivers were endangering traffic by stopping to catch a glimpse of the rare elk, which local papers have dubbed “Knutschi,” the Hessian environmental minister allowed authorities to anaesthetise him for transport.

After a lengthy hunt, the animal was stunned and taken to a wooded area near the Weser River where it was released again, police reported.

The two-year-old bull elk was first spotted wandering through the states of Thuringia and Hesse before he was seen in Lower Saxony. Experts believe he may be looking for a mate.

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