Moose-ing Around in Norrland

artur_410aIf there’s one thing that travelers want to see in Sweden it’s moose. Maybe not while driving at 70 m.p.h. with no time to brake, or when a charging 1100 pound bull moose comes crashing through their campground — but from a safe distance, sure. They hope to see at least one.

What if I told you a ‘safe distance’ was a relative term? What if you could get your picture taken with a moose, pet one, or have the chance to view a mother moose with calves? Wish granted.

It’s time then you visited the Arctic Moose Farm, owned and operated by the Rokka family. And you won’t be the first. Business is thriving on the eight hectares of lake forest property, located sixteen kilometers outside the town of Överkalix in Norrbotten county.

Since opening in 2006, guests from Germany, the United States, Finland, and many parts of Sweden have delighted to see the Rokkas’ hooved giants. The moose have also been featured in the local media, and scenes from the Swedish thriller, “False Trail” (Jägarna 2) were shot at the farm.

Vistors get a tour of the grounds, which includes information about the eight resident moose, and the opportunity to meet charming Artur and banana-loving Elin, two of the friendliest and curious members of the herd. It’s also possible to see calves and yearlings ranging the forest enclosure, the youngest keeping close to their mothers.

Quick Facts:

  • Lang: Swedish, English
  • Currency: SEK, kronor
  • Time zone: GMT +1 h
  • Tel. country code: +46

The calves must grow fast to be prepared for winter, explained Jörgen Rokka. “Their mother’s milk is very rich, and they can grow up to fifteen kilograms per week.”

The Rokka family are Sámi people, a group recognized as the ancient indigenous inhabitants of the Nordic region. With this heritage comes the right to keep ranging animals such as moose and reindeer. The family also get a little help from a New Zealand shepherd who dutifully patrols the perimeter.

Not surprisingly, the animals seem to enjoy their schedule of eat, swim, and play. “Next time, I want to come back as a moose,” joked Jörgen, when Artur walked over and nuzzled his arm. Clearly, the king of the forest adores his subjects.

After a visit with the herd, try a road trip. There’s plenty to see in Swedish Lappland!