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Snow forces Sweden's elk on urban food hunt

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Snow forces Sweden's elk on urban food hunt
Photo: TT
07:49 CET+01:00
After massive snow falls in Sweden's north, the local elk population has been forced to head out of the woods into the region's towns and cities in search of a square meal.
In the town of Piteå for example, three different groups of elk have been spotted rummaging around for food.
 
"It happens every winter, but this year there are more and larger groupings and we will have received call after call," said Lars Lundman at Norrbotten police.
 
Lundman called for calm but expressed understanding for the unease felt by families with children and dog-owners.
 
"Try to scare them, for example by throwing things at them. They can be aggressive," he warned, adding that the elk urban migration may lead to dangerous traffic situations.
 
The winter had been fairly mild until recently when snowstorms blew in large quantities of snow. The snow makes it difficult for the elk to find any food in their natural habitat.
 
The Local's Paul Connolly reported this week about four metre snow drifts and buried cars in the vicinity of his home in northern Sweden.
 
The Local's Paul Connolly in northern Sweden this week. Photo: Private
 
The elk typically return to their forest home in February but this year they may well linger a little longer in the cities. Lars Lundman offered tips ranging from suspending garbage bags, bashing saucepan lids and hanging CDs to keep the garden elk free.
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