Anchorage, Alaska probably has more wildlife within its borders than any other city in the world. Lynx, bears and king salmon all coexist, for the most part peacefully, with city dwellers. And as the snow piles up in the mountains each winter, hundreds of Moose descend into the city. As Alaska Public Radio Network's Annie Feidt reports, learning to live with the quirky beasts takes some patience.

ANNIE FEIDT, BYLINE: A few weeks ago, my husband Dave was biking home from work late at night. A thin layer of snow blanketed our street, making it hard to miss a winding trail of fresh moose tracks. Unfortunately for Dave, they led right to our house.

DAVE FEIDT: The whole way down the street, I was like, Murphy's Law, this moose is going to be in our yard, just because its late and I need to go to bed. So, when I saw the moose was there I was like, oh, this is just as I feared. Stupid moose is right where I don't what him to be.

FEIDT: These types of moose encounters are a regular part of life in Anchorage. About 1,500 roam the city in the winter. They cause traffic jams, destroy trees and shrubs and get their antlers tangled in Christmas lights. A few years ago a moose even walked right through the doors of a hospital emergency room.

ELAINE ORHMUND: They come through the yard all the time, they come in through the fence and out the back and sometimes they take their naps back there.


FEIDT: Elaine Orhmund is waiting for a table at one of the most popular restaurants in Anchorage, The Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria.

ORHMUND: Sometimes when you're out getting ready to get in the car you turn around and say, oh, and hurry up and get in the car and close the door. But we've never had any trouble with them.


MARIAN CALL: (Singing) Oh I wish I were a real Alaskan girl. I wish that I could hold my beer.

FEIDT: Local Singer Songwriter Marian Call loves the moose and she loves to eat them. But she's never hunted one herself.

CALL: I wrote a song making fun of myself for being a city slicker. And city slickers, we feed moose our leftover Halloween pumpkins.


CALL: (Singing) Oh I could wrench on my own goose and I would jerk my own moose and I'd drive a huge domestic truck and actually haul stuff in it.

But I've seen plenty of, you know, real strong Alaskan girls - as they like to say - just, you know, they hit a moose, their reaction is not to tend to their car and weep and moan and wring their hands; their reaction is to get out and get their hunting knife and take it to pieces and take it home and eat it all winter.

FEIDT: Call remembers the first moose she encountered after moving here right in the heart of downtown. She says over the years she's gotten used to their presence and now she can't imagine city life without them. For NPR News, I'm Annie Feidt, in Anchorage.


CALL: I'd shoot more than a camera at the animals and such, I'd eat Rudolph for breakfast and Bullwinkle for lunch. Oh, Alaskan girls are fearsome and fearless (unintelligible), they kill mosquitoes with a look and miss the truck (unintelligible) tourist line. They're ruggedly handsome in their way...

CORNISH: This is NPR News.

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