Moose calf saved from drowning in 1939 | Norway

Magne Løvstuen and his family adopted this moose calf after saving it from drowning in Lake Mjøsa.
LA Dahlmann | talk NORWAY
Magne Løvstuen. | Photo: Chr. Delphin domkirkeodden - digitaltmuseum.no 0412-02393 - public domain.
Magne Løvstuen and his moose. | Photo: Chr. Delphin - Domkirkeodden cc pdm.

Pronunciation

Elg

The mighty Lake Mjøsa

The moose is a good swimmer. But this young calf encountered problems as it set out to swim across Norway’s largest lake – Mjøsa. The year was 1939, and the location Løvstuen, Brøttum, Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway. Judging by the photos below, the calf was born in the spring of that year. Løvstuen is a smallholding right at the water’s edge. You can still see the houses when driving north from Moelv towards Lillehammer – or when passing by on the PS Skibladner – the white swan of Mjøsa. PS Skibladner is Norway’s oldest and only remaining paddle steamer still in operation.

Magne Løvstuen with his domesticated moose in 1939. The location is Løvstuen, Brøttum, Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway. | Photo: Unknown domkirkeodden - digitaltmuseum.no 0412-02395 - public domain.
Magne Løvstuen and his new friend. | Photo: Domkirkeodden cc pdm.

What happened?

The details are few, but maybe strong water currents separated the calf from its mother. Or perhaps she lost her life trying to get her bairn to safety. Lake Mjøsa leads melting water from the mountains and the river systems to the north – down to the rivers Vorma and Glomma further south. During spring and early summer, flooding and strong currents make life difficult for both animals and humans.

Taken in by kind people

What we do know, is that Magne Løvstuen and his family adopted the baby moose. And a good home they must have created for it. The rascal looks both calm and safe. But we do not know what happened next. The moose is Norway’s largest land-based animal, and maybe the family released it back into the wild when it was older and more independent. What is clear, however, is that the domestication of the Norwegian moose never quite caught on. But no one can say that Magne Løvstuen didn’t try.

Magne Løvstuen (left) and Arne Løvstuen Granberg with their domesticated moose in 1939. The location is Løvstuen, Brøttum, Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway. | Photo: Unknown domkirkeodden - digitaltmuseum.no 0412-02397 - public domain.
Magne (left) and Arne Løvstuen. | Photo: Domkirkeodden cc pdm.

Some facts about the Norwegian moose

Elgen – the moose – is the largest animal roaming the Norwegian landscape. The Norwegians call it the king of the forest. The early Scandinavians were hunters and gatherers, and the moose hunt is still a big annual ritual. It starts in late September and lasts through the month of October.

Although a shy animal, you can sometimes come across an individual or two when out walking in the forest. Or see them grazing in an open field. Generation after generation, the moose follows old paths through the landscape. Unfortunately, modern-day roads and railroad tracks do not scare the animals from crossing. When driving through Norway, you regularly see danger signs, marking high-risk areas. The animal often moves at dawn and dusk. These are the times of day when car and train drivers are particularly vigilant. Every year, accidents involving the moose take both animal and human lives.

From the left: Arne Løvstuen, Andreas Løvstuen and Marie Løvstuen - with their domesticated moose in 1939. The location is Løvstuen, Brøttum, Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway. | Photo: Unknown domkirkeodden - digitaltmuseum.no 0412-02394 - public domain.
From the left: Arne, Andreas and Marie Løvstuen. | Photo: Domkirkeodden cc pdm.
Magne Løvstuen with his domesticated moose in 1939. The location is Løvstuen, Brøttum, Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway. | Photo: Unknown domkirkeodden - digitaltmuseum.no 0412-02396 - public domain.
Magne Løvstuen. | Photo: Domkirkeodden cc pdm.
From the left: Andreas Løvstuen, Magne Løvstuen on the sledge and Arne Løvstuen - with their domesticated moose in 1939/40. The location is Løvstuen, Brøttum, Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway. | Photo: Unknown domkirkeodden - digitaltmuseum.no 0412-02379 - public domain.
From the left: Andreas, Magne (on the sledge) and Arne Løvstuen. | Photo: Domkirkeodden cc pdm.
Aerial photo of Løvstuen, Brøttum, Ringsaker, Hedmark, Norway. | Photo: Widerøes Flyveselskap AS domkirkeodden - digitaltmuseum.no 0412-05658 - public domain.
Aerial photo of Løvstuen in 1960. | Photo: Widerøes Flyveselskap AS – Domkirkeodden cc pdm.
Beware the crossing moose. | Photo: Luis Leamus - adobe stock - copyright.
Beware the crossing moose. | Photo: Luis Leamus – adobe stock – copyright.
Moose in the wild, Norway. | Photo: Arne Madsen - adobe stock - copyright.
Moose in the wild, Norway. | Photo: Arne Madsen – adobe stock – copyright.

Our most recent posts

My Norwegian heritage

A primstav is an old wooden calendar-stick, marking the days of the year and important events. It splits the year into two equal halves: summer and winter.
Some claim that porridge is the oldest hot dish in the Norwegian diet. Was it to our ancestors what bread is to the modern family of today?
When humankind first appeared in the Norwegian landscape – sometime after the last ice age – the search for food was their primary motivation.
In the year AD 1537, King Christian 3 of Denmark-Norway embraced the Lutheran Reformation, and the Norwegians went from being Catholics to Protestants. The king confiscated the Catholic Church’s considerable wealth, a welcomed addition to the royal coffers. Norway more or less ceased to exist as a sovereign state and became a province under Denmark.
On 9 April 1940, German forces attacked Norway in the early hours of the morning. The Norwegian armed forces attempted to stave off the attack, but they were in no way prepared for this monumental task.
On 18 November 1905, after a supportive referendum, the Norwegian parliament unanimously elected the Danish Prince Carl as the country’s new king.
In this video-collection of historical photos, we visit the west coast of Norway and the region of Sogn og Fjordane. We recommend that you watch with the sound on. Enjoy!
After the end of World War 2, the Norwegians all took part in lifting their country well and truly into the 20th century.
Skigard is a Norwegian noun that means wooden fence. It is made of split tree trunks, using simple tools. Fence making and mending was a task for early summer.
In the coastal districts of the old Norway, a strandsitter was a beach dweller - who rented a small piece of land - but owned the house he built on it. His livelihood was usually connected to the sea.
When the industrial revolution brought machinery to the Norwegian farms, it didn't just change the old working methods, it also changed the layout and look of the farmland.
Folklore and old folk tales often depict The Black Death in the shape of an ashen-faced old woman. Her name was Pesta.
The word ski comes from the Old Norse language, with the meaning cleft wood. The old Norwegians were master hunters, and have been skiing for over 5000 years.
After a troubled ten-year courtship, the current King Harald V of Norway finally got to marry his Miss Sonja Haraldsen on the 29th of August 1968.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Here are some examples of how the old Norwegians used Mother Nature’s very own remedies to cure their ailments.
There are many types of cheese slicers, but Norwegian furniture maker Thor Bjørklund invented the Norwegian version in 1925.
On the historical Norwegian farm, the skoklefallsday is the last day of planting in the spring. Literally, it means the day that the shafts attached to the workhorse's harness come off.
In the spring, the Norwegian mountain-snow melts and turns into creeks, rivers and magnificent waterfalls.
When there were no makeshift or permanent dwellings nearby, the Sami hunters and herders sometimes slept under the open sky.
Old objects tell stories, silent stories about a time gone by.
With the birth of the new Norwegian national state in 1814, came big ideas. And one of them was to establish better transportation systems.

Follow us on social media

Norwegian history