Rare White Moose Goes for Dip in Swedish Lake

It took three years, but Hans Nilsson finally caught his white whale ... which happened to be a white moose.

Nilsson, a municipal council member in the Eda Municipality of Sweden and an avid lover of nature, had been attempting to shoot footage of an elusive white moose. His long wait finally ended Aug. 11 when he spotted a white bull moose crossing a lake. Since then, his video has gone viral on the internet.

Translated from Swedish, Nilsson described seeing the moose as "a great feeling" to P4 Värmland Sveriges Radio and equated it with seeing a leopard during a safari in Africa.

Despite its all-white appearance, the moose isn't an albino animal. The lack of light or pink-colored eyes is a dead giveaway. Instead, the moose most likely has a recessive gene that triggered the white fur that covers even its antlers.

Speaking to National Geographic, Göran Ericsson, a professor of elk and moose for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, said that even though the condition is rare, there has been an increase in reports of white moose. The reason? Humans.

"Hunters have chosen to not kill any moose that are light," said Ericsson. Which means that the recessive gene has more opportunities to get passed on to another generation.

"It is kind of like dog breeding," he continued. "They [hunters] choose to select for traits that otherwise wouldn't have occurred."