Oct. 31—Editor's Note: This story was updated at 8 a.m. Tuesday. It was originally posted at 3 p.m. Monday,
— A moose on the loose is lighting up Facebook as photos of the animal are being posted by residents in
The moose was sighted on the east shoreline of Green Lake late Monday afternoon along Indian Beach Road.
Video of the moose by Green Lake
Contributed video / Cela Kava Dolan
The young bull moose was spotted southeast of Spicer on Monday morning. Photos of the moose in corn country near Atwater and Grove City on Sunday have been posted as well. Over the weekend, what appears to be the same animal was seen in the Dassel and Cokato area.
Video of moose southwest of Grove City
Contributed video / Holly Stang
Moose alert: If you capture video, photos or trail cam images of "Rut," the traveling moose, please share with the West Central Tribune at
Moose are large and powerful animals and can be aggressive this time of year, according to Hagan Messer, with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife office in New London.
Motorists should also be alert for the moose, as they should for deer this time of year. The animals do not recognize the danger of vehicles or headlights, and deer are active as they come into the rut.
Messer has seen Facebook postings of the moose. From what he's seen, the animal appears healthy. While rare, it is not entirely uncommon for moose to venture from their home range. A healthy moose exploring new terrain is likely to return to more hospitable habitat in the northern part of the state, he said.
There are also instances of moose wandering in corn country who are infected by a brain worm. These moose are confused, but also typically will show some signs of the disease, such as a drooping head.
Along with the recent moose sightings, there were reports earlier this year of a young bull elk in the Sunburg area. There was also an elk reported in the Willmar area last year, according to Messer.
The moose is very likely from northern Minnesota. Messer suspects the lost elk more likely could have come from Nebraska, where a native elk population exists. There is also a small elk population in northwestern Minnesota.