When I was a teenager living in Sweden my Italian aunt once asked me why I chose to live “in that periphery of the world”. She had a point. I could have lived in London or Rome and compared with either of those places, the Swedish countryside probably didn’t have much going on.
I am happy to report that this is no longer the case. Just last week an elk was rescued from a swimming pool in a town called Oskartrom, located in southern Sweden. The elk had wandered into the pool which had to be drained in order for special steps to be built so that it could walk out again.
I am not surprised the elk ended up in a private swimming pool. In Sweden we have a law called Allemannsratten, or Every Man’s Right, which means you have the right to walk anywhere you like, even on private land. The elk will have been well aware of this right and had clearly taken full advantage of it. Though I’m not sure it stretches to swimming in other people’s pools.
Anyway, even with the pool drained and the steps built, the elk was in no hurry to get out. Twenty-four hours later it was still standing in the pool. Probably waiting for someone to put the water back in. Eventually rescuers shot it with a tranquilizer gun and lifted it out using a harness.
“We initially held up a screen in front of the animal so that it wouldn’t jump back in the pool, but then she just lay down next to it,” said a local news reporter. After resting for an hour the elk wandered into neighbouring woodland and was reunited with its calf.
And you thought London was hectic?
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007