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Drunken elk rescued from Swede's apple tree

Rebecca Martin · 7 Sep 2011, 12:38

Published: 07 Sep 2011 12:38 GMT+02:00

When Per Johansson of Särö, south of Gothenburg, returned home from work on Tuesday it was dark outside and the rain was coming down hard. Suddenly Johansson heard a bellowing noise from the garden next door.

“I thought at first that someone was having a laugh. Then I went over to take a look and spotted an elk stuck in an apple tree with only one leg left on the ground,” Johansson told The Local.

IN PICTURES: Click here to see the elk - and The Local's other top stories of the year

The unfortunate elk was desperately entangled in the tree’s branches and was kicking ferociously as Johansson approached.

“I thought it looked pretty bad so I called the police who sent out an on-call hunter. But while we were waiting, the neighbours and I started to saw down some of the branches and then the hunter arrived with a saw as well,” said Johansson.

The group tried to make the elk more comfortable but to no avail.

It wasn’t until the fire brigade arrived on the scene and managed to bend the tree to the point where the exhausted elk could slide out of the branches that the animal was finally freed.

According to Johansson, it looked very much like the elk was severely drunk after eating too many fermenting apples.

Drunken elk are common in Sweden during the autumn season when there are plenty of apples lying around on the ground and hanging from branches in Swedish gardens.

While the greedy animal was reaching ever higher to reach the delicious but intoxicating fruit, it most likely stumbled into the tree, getting itself hopelessly entangled in the branches.

And from what Johansson could gather, this particular animal had been on a day-long bender.

“My neighbour recognised it as the animal that almost ran into her car earlier in the day. She was pretty sure the elk was already under the influence,“ said Johansson.

When the inebriated elk was freed, it lay for a while on the ground, seemingly unconscious.

After emergency services had ascertained that the animal was still alive, Johansson was told to keep an eye on it and call the hunter straight away if it seemed to be suffering.

Story continues below…

But by the morning the hungover animal had stood up and cautiously moved a few metres away.

After a while it went on its way, although Johansson suspects it is still skulking around the neighbourhood.

“We often see elk stuffing their faces with apples around here but this is the first time we found one perched in a tree,” he told The Local.

Related links:

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:14 September 7, 2011 by Lemon1987
This story is hillarious . It looks like somehow that elk wanted to end up his life cause of bad social care. Who knows what was the main purpose .
14:15 September 7, 2011 by Tysknaden
This elk clearly deserves to become SD's heraldic animal.
14:35 September 7, 2011 by ooh456
that moose is so drunk it thinks it's an elk
14:49 September 7, 2011 by StockholmSam
Hahaha @ooh456!

Great story. Glad they didn't just shoot it.
15:04 September 7, 2011 by darky
I can't stop laughing . So funny a story. The greedy elk gets drunk after munching so many fermented apples . lol !
16:22 September 7, 2011 by dammen
it is amusing

..but when you actually encountered them stumbling round the garden it is not much of a joke...I do wish people would not leave round out for them though - it is not so good for them in the long run
16:33 September 7, 2011 by gh4chiefs
Hmm, perhaps this is a translation thing, but I'm pretty sure that's a moose, not an elk.
16:38 September 7, 2011 by Svensksmith
Sounds like a problem for Systembolaget. Perhaps a que for the fermented apples.
16:52 September 7, 2011 by workingman
it's a freaking moose no a freaking elk!
16:56 September 7, 2011 by gh4chiefs
Yeah Workingman, pretty sure it's a problem in translation. Someone just needs to explain to the translator that the English word for the animal pictured is moose and not elk. I see other stories that are clearly about moose but they are referred to as elk. Just a little break down in communication, that's all.
17:08 September 7, 2011 by zeulf
@ gh4chiefs as has been covered MANY times in the past, the GB English word is indeed ELK, but the North American English word is Moose . Sweden uses the Brit translation . North American Elk being another animal.
17:26 September 7, 2011 by gh4chiefs
So why isn't the story linked on this page about "Leffe the MOOSE man" entitled "Leffe the ELK man." It appears to me that they don't know which translation to use. LOL
18:31 September 7, 2011 by David S
European Elk=North American Moose

Swedish "älg", German "Elch", European English "Elk".

For we Australians, influenced by both varieties of English, the animal in the picture is both a Moose and an Elk :)
19:05 September 7, 2011 by Amber Dawn
This is what happens when school starts back. Everyone is hitting the sauce.
19:10 September 7, 2011 by gh4chiefs
Is there no European counterpart to the North American elk? (I'm talking actual animal, not the word). And if so, what's it called in GB English?
19:47 September 7, 2011 by Soft Boiled
It was a stag party? ;)
20:03 September 7, 2011 by skumdum
@gh4chiefs

I think elk is called Wapiti in europe but I'm not sure.
20:06 September 7, 2011 by Hogwash
@ ghachiefs - I think the nearest thing to an American Elk in Europe (including the UK) is the red deer but they're nothing like identical. I think the American Elk is bigger.
20:11 September 7, 2011 by vladpootin
The desire for a BUZZ transends both the Humanerectus and Elkasmaximus!
20:16 September 7, 2011 by noedarca
It must be a finnish elk...because it is so drunk ;)

-Coder from Hellsinki, Finland-
20:18 September 7, 2011 by ashays
Hello...my name is Barney and I'm an ELKaholic.
20:20 September 7, 2011 by karex
Sigh... every time there is an article about this animal this same argument springs up...

OK guys. Actually, the North American Moose and the Eurasian Elk are the same animal (Alces Alces). The confusion comes from the fact that in North America this animal is called a moose, and the word elk is used to describe a large species of deer (Cervus Canadensis). It's this large species of deer that is also known as Wapiti. And it is the deer and the moose/elk that are not realted at all to each other.

And I quote Wikipedia:

" The word moose is a borrowing from an Algonquian language, probably Narragansett, and according to early sources likely derived from moosu meaning "he strips off".[3] The word 'moose' first entered English in 1606 from Captain Thomas Hanham's 'Mus' (compare to Abenaki mus), and in 1616 from Captain John Smith's 'Moos', with possible mutual reinforcement in usage.[4]"

check it out yourselves: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose

"
20:23 September 7, 2011 by noedarca
European elk is elk...and you stupid Americans....Moose is different than Elk...

-Coder from Hellsinki, Finland...my brothers has biggest elk leather (and also other leathers) company in Finland...so that is the truth :) -
20:36 September 7, 2011 by charubun pananon
This elk must be put in the rehab.
20:37 September 7, 2011 by gh4chiefs
Interesting, I figured this was a translation issue but not quite in the manner I originally thought. I guess this is one of the communication issues when dealing with the WORLD wide web. I often forget that not all English is created equal. But I must admit I'm really suprised that in all my 50 years I'd never heard this before.

Thanks to all for the educational lesson today.
20:50 September 7, 2011 by noedarca
Moose leather and elk leather has different thickness and size of course...moose looks little bit different than elk...same origin though...but not same thing.

-Coder-
21:03 September 7, 2011 by karex
Scientific classifications:

North American Moose:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Cervidae

Subfamily: Capreolinae

Genus: Alces

Species Alces Alces

European Elk:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Cervidae

Subfamily: Capreolinae

Genus: Alces

Species Alces Alces

#23, I challenge you to present DNA evidence that the two animals are not the same.
21:10 September 7, 2011 by janswed
That is an ELK not a MOOSE for thousands of years it has been called a ELK,mind you for people who insist on calling football soccer what can you exspect.And by the way the ELK is delicous,me and my grandfahert used to hunt them,the ELK that is.There is a reason it is called HUNTING ELK SEASON.
21:13 September 7, 2011 by noedarca
Like I said that they have same origin, but they have separate features. They can be same thing but why the hell the size is different and the leather thickness is different...you cannot say that it is colder in Scandinavia than in Canada.
21:32 September 7, 2011 by David S
people really don't bother reading comments before they post do they?
21:57 September 7, 2011 by soultraveler3
@ noedarca

Your childish outburst makes you seem stupid, not the people you're trying to insult.

This is a common source for confusion for people on both sides of the Atlantic.

Using a different term for something than others do is a part of language. It happens within languages as well as across different languages.

The fact that you choose to insult a group of people for not knowing a word that they don't use makes you an idiot, not them.
22:09 September 7, 2011 by Coyoty
Monty Python says it's a moose, and that it is a Swedish attraction. I do not see how Swedes can find moose attractive. They also say moose are carnivorous and will bite your sister, so it is a good idea to leave your sister home when hunting moose.
22:33 September 7, 2011 by GTTTM
these comments are almost as funny as the article.

Lets get this straight American English and European English often have different words for the same things. You know -

Pants in the US - are our Trousers, our pants are our underwear!

Your Chips are our crisps, and our chips are your French Friies

Your Moose is our Elk - they are the EXACT SAME THING.
22:52 September 7, 2011 by Dannytarpon
Reminds me of a short story from my teenage years. Antlers in the Treetops by Who Goosed the Moose. Doesn't work with elk. Funny story. Enjoyed it.
22:54 September 7, 2011 by ooh456
It looks like a moose to be. Maybe it was an elk that had plastic surgery that went badly and that's why he started drinking so much.
22:55 September 7, 2011 by Coyoty
Moose bites can have embarrassing consequences if the moose is radioactive or a weremoose.
22:59 September 7, 2011 by janswed
I wonder what ELK marinated i alcoholic apple cider would taste like,I bet it would be quite tasty.
23:02 September 7, 2011 by Coyoty
If your sister is bitten by a weremoose, things can get very complicated once a month.
00:02 September 8, 2011 by crudstud
we have Elk in Pennsylvania, USA and that certainly isn't what we call an Elk. Looks like a Moose to me, although I've never seen on in person.
00:42 September 8, 2011 by Marysia2
Elk in North America are also called caribou and they are the same kind of animal that the Laplanders raise. A moose is what Bullwinkle of the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon was. They are somewhat placid creatures and much taller than elk, I believe. You cannot use them to pull sleigh and they are not domesticated for work as elk (caribou) are. So in No. America we have 2 different animals, elks (caribou) and moose. Which should not be confused with mouse/mice. 8 )
00:51 September 8, 2011 by bbbass
Here we all are on the internet and people don't bother to do any research? In Sweden moose are called elk because the word is properly derived from the latin species name Alces Alces. The American elk is an incorrect derivation:

The iconic, majestic forest dweller Alces alces is known as a moose in North America (actually the sub-species Alces alces americana) and an elk in Europe. The word elk, like the Swedish word älg (pronounced /elj/), is taken from the Latin alces. To make matters even more confusing, elk in North America is used for an entirely different animal - a kind of deer, Cervus elaphus, otherwise known as a Wapiti.
01:38 September 8, 2011 by Sluggo
It looks like yet another moose in need of a 12 step program...
01:59 September 8, 2011 by vladpootin
Easy Noadarca!

Go have a slice of whale sashimi, a bowl of shark-fin soup - And enjoy your collection of fine animal skins....Elk, moose or baby seal pup - Finnish (sic) it all off with some tea from Black Rhino horn!
02:19 September 8, 2011 by CraigG
Well, generations removed from Sweden but the only one of the animals we have wild in California of the ones discussed is the "elk" (Tule elk and Roosevelt Elk -wapiti (the large deer). The less good looking animal with the palmate antlers is usually called moose in the US.

Also, caribou and reindeer are the same animal, the reindeer being the domesticated animal (rangifer tarandus).
02:25 September 8, 2011 by marvin lowery
The animal in the picture in America would be called a Moose. Albet a small one. An American Moose when full grown will stand 6 feet at the shoulders. And dangerous when a calf and cow is around.

The American Elk has a smaller nose area and a different rack. Both good to eat but the Moose is widely protected unless over populated in an area and become a safety issue then the State game commission will issue limited hunting licenses to reduce the herd. A full grown Moose will out weigh an Elk by 500 pounds.

Interesting about your Elk being our Moose. First time I ever heard of a drunk Moose or Elk. You learn something every day. Have a good day from America.
04:46 September 8, 2011 by loren_brothers
Hmm,

In North America it's a Moose.

In Europe it's an Elk

In North America an Elk is a large deer

Does that mean there is no Moose in Sweden? And that Elk are really not large deer in Norway.

What happens if a North American Moose from Canada swims to Greenland and the hitches a ride on a Iceberg to Sweden (after sneaking throug Norway)?

Does he cease to be a Moose? Or is he a Elk only until he shows his Canadian Passport and finally gets his Swedish resident visa?

Is he then recognized as a Canadian Elk or a Swedish Moose?

If he opts for dual citizenship will he be a Molk or an Eloose?

If he brings his girlfriend with him are they considered to be Meese or Eeeeeks?

... so much stuff, so little time!
04:57 September 8, 2011 by Ivan Juric
Elkaholic!
05:18 September 8, 2011 by TomB
Since some of you are getting technical with scientific categorizations, the animal's species is not "alces alces" it is only alces. Scientific names are made up of the genus and species. So the scientific name for the moose is alces alces (genus alces, species alces).

and karex, though your citation is correct, I wouldn't rely upon wikipedia for important information. Pages are updated by users, and not immune from being changed by the ignorant of the topic at hand.
05:38 September 8, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
I have to say, after living in Alaska, that the "elk" shown here is definitely different in appearance and color to the North American moose. Anyway both your elk and our moose are the strangest creatures, doing the craziest of things. A bank near Anchorage had one enter the lobby as a terrified customer was leaving the bank. It was even more frightening for the customers and tellers inside the bank. Finally, animal control came and captured it. You hear and read about headlines like that all the time in Alaska. This one in this article getting "drunk" on apples is a first for me. I've forwarded pictures of this Swedish elk to friends & family in Alaska. Try moose/elk stew sometime. It's very tasty and lean, and the meat is so tender, healthier for you too because it doesn't have all the fat and cholesterol like beef does.
05:45 September 8, 2011 by loren_brothers
tsk tsk tom .... not so smart

the Eurasion Elk is A. alces alces

The Eastern American Moose is A aces amricanus

The Western American Moose is A. alces andersoni

The Alaskan American Moose is A. alces gigas

The Siberian MOOSE is A. alces cameloides

etc

So Karex is absolutely correct ... Tom not correct.

Make sure your bastu (sauna) doesn't have glass windows before throwing rocks.

But they are Meese to me!
07:31 September 8, 2011 by wabasha
do we really have to do the "elk vs. moose" discussion every time? with potatoes and mushroon sauce it all tastes the same.
08:17 September 8, 2011 by The Baron
I should think that in such a socially progressive country as Sweden there would be a chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous for elk. This poor creature needs help, not scorn.
10:02 September 8, 2011 by Keith #5083
Be fair now, we can't really complain about species misunderstandings when sloppy media keeps feeding misinformation to the public (oh, I didn't mean Fox was sloppy media...it's far from sloppy in it's misinformation campaign).Check out what NEWSER managed to do with this thelocal story

http://sweden.blogspot.com/2011/09/media-sloppiness.html
11:38 September 8, 2011 by Bally
Obviously he is Finnish Moose/Elk being totally intoxicated :D.....
14:40 September 8, 2011 by gh4chiefs
"Elk in North America are also called caribou"

I would beg to differ with you on that as they are two distinct animals although I'm sure they're closely related. In North America, I can't ever recall anybody referring to a (NA) elk as a caribou or vice versa.

For our European friends, I honestly thought this was simply a case of mistaken identity as I never knew the different nomenclature for the same animal. Unfortunately in the American media, it's all too common for the reporters to misidentify an animal. I can't tell you the number of times a duck has been called a goose, or a goose been called a duck. Or a coyote as a wolf and vice versa. So I thought that's what we were dealing with here.

Ironically, the Drudge Report where this article was linked, first had the link correctly stated (from the European point of view) as an elk stuck in the tree. It's since been changed to moose, I guess as to not offend our American sensibilities. LOL
16:38 September 8, 2011 by jg.
Elkoholic on a stag night.
18:53 September 8, 2011 by ottertail49
both when prepared correctly are delicious
22:22 September 8, 2011 by Marysia2
And apparently the moose can't tell the difference, either. During the moose mating season, there are always stories about some lovesick and besotted male moose hanging around a dairy farm, making googly eyes at some shapely cow. Ahhh, unrequited love....
00:57 September 9, 2011 by Tysknaden
Fame on a international scale by now:

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,785221,00.html
14:23 September 9, 2011 by Ztitchofgrace
:) I used to assume Swedes called Moose Elks because they felt the word coincided or seemed the same as ' Elk' and were unaware of the actual Elk which roams North America. It was interesting to learn from Englishmen and Aussies that they actually call both the Cervus canadensis and Alces alces Elks. Just as long as a picture is attached I'm fine with that.
18:08 September 9, 2011 by Soft Boiled
This new story was broadcast on BBC radio 4 the other day. They referred to the animal as a moose. Unfortunately, the english do tend to refer to elks as moose so confusion reigns and we have to go through the same discussions again and again.
01:14 September 10, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
Tysknaden: You mean mascot? Then I agree.
11:43 September 13, 2011 by Scandastic
This is a classic case of: you snooze, you moose!
08:33 September 20, 2011 by cjsutton
Semantics aside on the whole moose/elk thing.....

This was such a funny story they ran it on one of the local stations here in Denver I laughed then and still laugh at this poor drunk creature. When all else is going wrong nature comes around and gives us something to chuckle at.
18:22 October 2, 2011 by Whynot8
The Local writes in American English, not British English. To be consistent the editors should refer to an älg as a moose. Furthermore, while the British do speak English, it is an obscure form that should not be treated with such esteem. In fact, 99.9% of the British have never seen an älg or had any interest in whatever it is called. So here in the 51st state, let's call a moose a moose and stop catering to them foreigners.
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