When the ʀᴀʀᴇ leucistic moose appeared before his camera, photographer Anders Tedeholm captured the magic
Stunning photographs capture a ʀᴀʀᴇ white moose roaming a field. You may remember several years ago when a video of a ʀᴀʀᴇ white moose in Sweden made the rounds. It went completely viral, for obvious reasons – like, it was the most ᴍᴀᴊᴇsᴛɪᴄ thing ever caught on camera, for starters.
But now we have something equally ᴍᴀᴊᴇsᴛɪᴄ, just in still form: A shot of this magnificent member of the deer family, taken by photographer Anders Tedeholm. Seriously, who needs unicorns when this moose ᴇxɪsᴛs? “The legendary white moose first appeared in ᴡᴇsᴛᴇʀɴ Vᴀʀᴍʟᴀɴᴅ sometime in the 1930s, they are not ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ but according to researchers they have a ᴅᴇꜰᴇᴄᴛ in the ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ᴄᴏᴅᴇ, which makes the coat does not store ᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛ. Some experts have pointed out that it is most likely not the case. Aʟʙɪɴɪsᴍ is an ɪɴʜᴇʀɪᴛᴇᴅ ᴅɪsᴏʀᴅᴇʀ usually caused by a ʟᴀᴄᴋ ᴏꜰ ᴍᴇʟᴀɴɪɴ, the ᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛ ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴsɪʙʟᴇ for the colour of the skin, hair and eyes. ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ animals have pink or red eyes but the white moose spotted in Sweden, doesn’t. Several media reports have attributed the all-white fur to a ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ᴍᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. It certain parts of Canada, like Ontario for example, regulations were passed to protect the ʀᴀʀᴇ white-coloured moose, who are easy targets in the wild because of their visible colour. “The animal can become lighter, partly white or completely white in colour, however, eyes, beak and claws often have normal ᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛation, in contrast to Aʟʙɪɴɪsᴍ.”
The story behind the white moose photo. We chatted with Anders by email and he told us a bit about the shot. He confirms that it is the same moose made famous by the video. Anders says that he has met him several times now. When we asked how the photo came about, Anders told us, I had heard that the moose had been seen close to a village in the area the day before, so I went there to try to get some photos of him. I was driving around on the small roads in the area, and suddenly he was standing there. We dare say, an apparition! And we wouldn’t want it any other way.
The photo is so fairytale perfect that we wondered if there were any Photoshop shenanigans at hand. Anders shared the original files with us to compare, and we can confirm that aside from minimal adjustments, this is the actual magic that happened. For the record, it’s not an “ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ” moose. Despite the distinct lack of color, the moose’s wan hue is not from Aʟʙɪɴɪsᴍ. How ʀᴀʀᴇ are white moose? While this ivory creature may be ᴍᴀɢɪᴄᴀʟ and ᴍʏsᴛɪᴄᴀʟ, there are others of his ilk. Sightings of white moose have been reported in Norway, as well as Canada and Alaska. Goran Ericsson, a “professor of elk and moose” (dream job) for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences told National Geographic that while the condition is ʀᴀʀᴇ, it’s possible the prevalence of white moose is increasing. “Hᴜɴᴛᴇʀs have chosen to not ᴋɪʟʟ any moose that are light,” said Ericsson. Which means that they are essentially being ᴘʀᴏᴛᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ, and thus, natural selection has the opportunity to make them more common. A world with more white moose? Bring it on. And can we get some unicorns in there while we’re at it?
Thank you to Anders for sharing this exquisite shot; you can see more of his magic at his website.