The animals, which usually live deep in the forest, were first spotted close to the police headquarters in Karlstad and were then seen paddling away from the scene in the Klarälven river which runs through the small city.
“They swam over to a residential area called Sunsta, a very built up suburb,” Stefan Wickberg, a press spokesperson for the region's police force told The Local.
He said that a massive operation then swung into action as police, city council workers and trained professional hunters tried to track down the elk and coax them away from the area's busy roads.
Meanwhile, warning signs were put up around the city to alert both drivers and pedestrians to the fact that the animals were on the loose.
“This was all going on for about an hour and a half (…) They were in the middle of streets where there is a lot of traffic,” Wickberg explained.
However he confirmed that the elk were eventually caught and guided to a more tranquil forest area on the city's outskirts.
Elk can become separated from their mothers during spring if their female parent becomes pregnant and becomes more focussed on her future offspring.
“It does happen quite often (…) But it is not so usual to see these elk in the middle of the city. The last time I experienced this was around 20 years ago,” explained Wickberg.
He said that Karlstad residents should report other elk if they see them in residential areas but should not be unduly concerned about coming into contact with the animals.
“The only real worry about elks is traffic accidents. The second thing is that elk can get very stressed and do things that could harm people but it is absolutely not common, it's not the natural way they behave.”