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While walking in the countryside, a photographer managed to capture images of a majestic white moose.
Roger Brendhagen, 52, managed to catch a glimpse of the rare white moose while walking near Värmland in Sweden. Only 30 moose are thought to live in the area, so seeing them and managing to take a clear photograph of the animal is very unusual.
The photos look incredible and capture a rare sighting of the elusive animal.
Roger Brendhagen, who is originally from Oslo, Norway, has photographed a lot of moose, and explained the experience of capturing these images as well as the good fortune of finding the animal:
I have met thousands of moose in my life but when I met this guy in the Swedish forests, I almost lost my senses but thank God I did not lose the camera. I photographed this moose in Värmland in Sweden, in the border area with Norway, according to researchers, there are about 30 moose with this mutation in Värmland.
The photographer also offered insight into the animal, and why it has its striking appearance:
The legendary white moose first appeared in western Värmland sometime in the 1930s, they are not albino but according to researchers they have a defect in the genetic code, which means the coat does not store pigment. The phenomenon is called leucism, they have brown eyes and brown horns just like normal moose.
The animal can become lighter, partly white or completely white in colour, however, eyes, beak and claws often have normal pigmentation, in contrast to albinism.
Interestingly, these animals are not albino given despite pale appearance extending to almost every feature. However the brown eyes, as Brendhagen notes, set the animal apart from albino moose. Similar cases of this pigmentation in moose have been seen in Alaska and Canada, although these animals have also been very hard to find and take photographs of.
For many, this image may be one of the most mesmerising of the year. Given the rarity of seeing the large pale animal in the wild, this will be the first look at a ‘legendary’ white moose for many, and Brendhagen managed to capture the moose in stunning detail.
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