One of the things the northern part of Sweden is proud of are elks, although elks can be found all over of Sweden, they prefer forests and areas with no human habitat. In North America elks are called moose and in Swedish they call it “älg”. I decided to join to a trip to an elk farm organized by the buddy program in Umeå University. The farm is located in Bjurholm, about an hour away from Umeå.
Although we have elks in Finland, I had never seen a live one before. My grandfather and uncle used to hunt elks and I had seen their trophies and pictures of elks but this was something completely new! I’ve heard that the farm also has small elks, but all the ones we saw were full grown. Elks are hunted in Sweden for the meat and for controlling the elk population, since elks cause damage to forests and are also dangerous for traffic.
Elks are wild animals by nature, but when raised by humans they get used to having people around them. It was possible to touch the elks and they even let little children sit on them. Elks are not very sociable animals, and won’t walk to you for hugs and kisses, but they don’t mind people touching them. Although it was kind of scary to go and pet an animal that was taller than me!