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Nature lovers in Minsk got a surprise this week when a moose cow and a juvenile visited Chelyuskinites Park in the Belarusian capital.

The animals appeared out of nowhere and drew a crowd, including RFE/RL Belarus Service correspondent Bahdan Arlou.

They were clearly uncomfortable with all the attention. In the accompanying video, a shutter-happy passerby notes that catching the creatures will be difficult because they're frightened and clearly not used to being around humans.

The moose, or Eurasian elk, is also the largest member of the deer family (Cervidae) and the second-largest land animal in Europe, with adult cows weighing up to 350 kilograms.

The pair was roaming the woodland park's nearly 80 hectares for much of the day on May 15 before Emergency Situations Ministry staff turned up to try and corral them.

One official initially told RFE/RL's Belarus Service that the animals were taken out of the city after they were tranquilized and captured.

But the "Nase niva" newspaper later quoted an official from the Minsk zoo as saying that the two were instead taken there and housed in a special pen. The source said the animals were in good condition and the public was being kept away so as not to disturb them.

Their fate remains unclear.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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