A hungry moose has been caught on camera strolling into a movie theater in Kenai, Alaska, before taking off with a McDonald’s happy meal.
Employees at Kenai Cinemas were caught by surprise when the animal entered the building and began rooting through the trash last week.
In a video posted on social media, an employee can be heard saying ‘he ain’t leaving’, as the moose sticks its snout in an old happy meal box.
The theater boss said he believed the animal was lured in by the smell of popcorn.
It comes just weeks after a moose wandered into the lobby of a hospital in Anchorage through an automatic door, and began eating some potted plants.
Video posted to social media shows the animal wandering in through the front door from the outside, while an employee says ‘what do I do’ and repeats ‘no, no, no.’
The curious moose tentatively walks into the theater, appears to sniff the air and then begins rummaging through the trash on the other side of the room.
The employee can be heard laughing, and saying: ‘I can’t do nothing. Go outside, that’s where you belong. You can’t watch a movie.’
Further footage shows employees ushering the animal out, which still has the happy meal box attached to its snout.
Theater manager Ricky Black told Anchorage Daily News that his first reaction was to laugh at the situation.
‘She was behind the counter,’ he said of the employee. ‘She wasn’t in immediate danger from the moose,. And she’s like, “Stop laughing. This is serious.”‘
He said that he thought the smell of popcorn had attracted the animal. The front door at the theater had been propped open to let in some fresh air while the employee cleaned out the popcorn machine, which emits a lot of heat – and the distinctive popcorn smell, Black explained.
‘It definitely could smell that popcorn. It’s just a very common reaction for anybody or anything that comes into the theaters,’ he added.
Nick Fowler, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, told the outlet that this is the time of the year when moose are most ‘nutritionally limited’.
‘I do not know if a Happy Meal is good for a moose or not. However, I can confidently say that it’s not in its natural diet,’ Fowler said.
He added that in situations like this, ‘the best thing we can almost always do is make sure there’s plenty of distance, and we’re not approaching the animal’.
It comes weeks after another moose walked into Providence Health Park medical facility in Anchorage – and had to be escorted out by security.
The young moose walked straight over to some potted plants as hospital employees and civilians snapped photos and video of the unusual sighting.
When hospital security arrived, the moose had a stare down with a few of the security guards.
Randy Hughes, the hospital’s director of security, said, ‘it’s not every day you get a moose walking into a building, so everybody was excited to take pictures and stuff like that.’
To prevent the large animal from running wild, people helped form a circle while others held some branches from the plants to try and sway the moose to walk towards the automatic doors.
No one was injured, and the animal eventually left, before taking a nap in the snow outside the building.
This article by Tilly Armstrong was first published by The Daily Mail on 25 April 2023. Lead Image: Expect aggressive wildlife behavior this time of year from mothers defending their young.
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