Don’t risk irritating Sweden’s famous white elk, expert warns

Experts have warned sightseers hoping to catch a glimpse of Sweden's famous white elk to take care as the animal could be dangerous.

Don't risk irritating Sweden's famous white elk, expert warns
Not to be taken lightly. Photo: Tommy Pedersen / TT

A video of the animal filmed in western Sweden has gone viral over the last week, turning him into the country's celebrity of the moment and prompting people to flock to the Värmland region in the hope of seeing him.

But approaching the creature isn't advised, experts have explained.

“Elk can get irritated, …and then they're dangerous,” Göran Ericsson, a professor of animal ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences said.

“I would advise people to keep their distance,” he told AFP. A typical elk weighs between 400 and 600 kilos, the expert pointed out.

Authorities in Värmland said on Monday that crowds of people had been following the elk in the forest and on private property, disturbing locals and nature lovers.

Earlier on Tuesday one such resident told The Local that people were regularly trespassing in her garden, where the elk likes to come to eat apples.

“The elk is sometimes here for several days in a row. For several hours he walks around and munches the apple tree and bushes. How often people come depends on when the elk is here (…) Someone asked me to speak to them in English. I don't know where they were from,” Catrin Leverström explained.

HEADLINE: Viral Swedish white elk's apple habit brings trespassing tourists

“It's not particularly good for the elk to never be left in peace, constantly chased and disturbed. Unfortunately he can get aggressive,” she added.

The fuss around this particular white elk dates back to last week, when a local councillor managed to catch it on film and the video ended up gaining global attention, with outlets like the BBC and Huffington Post picking it up.

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