Moose on the loose in Minnesota entrances wildlife watchers

Moose on the loose in Minnesota entrances wildlife watchers

A rogue moose wandering hundreds of miles south of its natural territory in Minnesota has become a growing media sensation as fans join online to track its journey through amateur photographs and video clips.

The “majestic” and “noble” animal – nicknamed Rutt after one of two moose brothers in the film Brother Bear played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas based on their Canadian comedy duo Bob and Doug McKenzie – has been spotted in various locations across Minnesota and Iowa for weeks. On Tuesday, it appeared 140 miles (225km) north-west of Minneapolis.

The Facebook group created to monitor the progress of wandering moose yesterday surpassed 20,000 members.

Based on news reports of a moose “matching his description”, Brenda Johnson, who started the group, has said she suspects the moose has traveled from as far away as North Dakota and South Dakota, before coming through Iowa to Minnesota.

The moose appears to be a young, healthy male. Some moose can wander if infected by a particular brain parasite, but others occasionally travel far afield looking for new habitats or a mate.

CBS reported that some witnesses believe Rutt could in fact be two moose, but most of the Moose on the Loose group think Rutt is a single individual.

The Minnesota department of natural resources’ Barb Keller told CBS that she wanted to remind hunters that it is illegal to shoot moose in Minnesota, and warned bystanders to keep their distance.

“Moose are dangerous animals. So we recommend if people see them out in southern Minnesota, certainly take pictures and videos but do not approach,” said Keller.

Johnson started the moose group in 2018 to track another moose, which died after it attempted to cross a highway and was hit by a truck. There was great anxiety as Rutt tried a similar expedition across Interstate 94, and great relief when he crossed safely.

Tributes to Rutt have flooded the group from both Americans and Canadians.

“When I was a boy, I saw moose all the time at our cabin on Lake of the Woods [in Ontario]. I haven’t seen any since moving to Florida in 2019,” wrote Douglas R Whitney. “They are such noble animals.”

What you can do

Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.


Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.

This article by Chris Michael was first published by The Guardian on 22 November 2023. Lead Image: Rutt the moose in Meeker county, Minnesota, on 29 October. Photograph: Bernie Stang/AP.

Dive in!

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

We promise we’ll never spam! Read our Privacy Policy for more info


Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

Leave a Reply

Notify of